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Ready for the Races

By Brian Davidson
Uncharted Staff

It’s an event that screams for nicknames.

Lydia “Whistlin’ Lyd” Hutchinson you’ll meet in a moment. Right now, let’s talk about Tud. “Tud” is the nickname. “Tud” Kent. He regularly ran the mail from Ashton, Idaho, to the Railroad Ranch in Island Park, Idaho, a journey of about thirty miles. In 1917, he and four others founded the American Dog Derby. He won the first race that year, a 55-mile slog through deep snow and a raging blizzard from Ashton to West Yellowstone, Montana. In the subsequent ten years, he won five more times, each time in a blizzard. They had better blizzards back then.

This year, those who participate in the 100-mile race will do so in Tud’s honor – the race now bears his name.

But there’s room for the new at the American Dog Derby, too. The 60-mile race, for instance, is named this year for Ray Gordon, of Rock Springs, Wyo. Since 1995, he’s won five races at the American Dog Derby, a record no modern racer has bested. He also boasts of running the Iditarod. Twice. Best I’ve done is hook our wiener dog up to the kids’ sled for a race down our suburban street.

So go to Ashton this year to see the real thing. Races this year kick off Feb. 18 at about 7:30 am (I’m fudging a bit on the time here, get there early to get a good view and so you don’t miss the race). Races go on through Saturday the 20th, with plenty of events in town to keep you entertained.

For more information on this year’s events, go to here.

For Uncharted’s story on the event last year, go here.

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