Baltimore's Dent still mushing despite crashing into tree


March 09, 2000|By Frank Roylance | Frank Roylance,SUN STAFF

Baltimore's Dan Dent was still mushing his way down the Iditarod Trail yesterday despite crashing into a tree early Tuesday and losing 14 of his 16 dogs in the rugged Alaska Range.

Dent, 58, was last reported at the Rohn Roadhouse. That's 272 miles from the starting line near Anchorage, and 879 miles from the finish in Nome.

The Baltimore investment counselor was running 68th in the field of 79, about 200 miles behind the leader, Doug Swingley.

Trail reports said Dent's sled struck a tree on a treacherous bit of hillside trail five miles from Rainy Pass. The impact snapped his gang line, the main tether to which the dogs are attached.

Relieved of the weight of sled and driver, 14 of the 16 huskies simply kept on running. "I looked up and [the dogs] weren't there," Dent later told the Anchorage Daily News.

Dent was left behind in the dark, with his sled and two "wheel dogs" -- the ones closest to the sled, hooked to the gang line just behind the point where it broke.

Two hours later, Dent arrived in Rainy Pass. Waiting for him were his 14 runaways.

After a daytime break to repair and regroup, Dent pushed off again, headed for the Rohn Roadhouse 48 miles away across more mountainous country.

Race officials reported he arrived there late Tuesday night .

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