Alpirod, The Big Detour


Martin Buser says, “Not fair!”

Race Marshal Earl Norris says, “Some followed the right trail, some didn’t. If you took the wrong trail it’s your own fault. Today’s results stand.”

Dolomiti, 1989. The race started outside Dobbiaco and finished here beside a lake halfway to Cortina. Within the first km of the start the trail went under a railroad bridge then immediately was to take a right turn. But someone at that point was directing teams to the left down the valley heading toward the Austrian border and Lienz. The first 9 or 10 teams following Kathy Swenson, who was the overall leader and first out, were misdirected. Finally Kathy realized we were on the wrong trail and turned around, calling out to each musher she met on the way back to return to the fatal intersection. Ararad Katchikian won that day but the final results for the year were probably not affected. Kathy Swenson winner.

The lesson? Never give up until you cross the finish line? Don’t take anything for granted… “No matter how cynical you become it’s never enough to keep up.” Lily Tomlin

But I have to say that’s giving dogs, the namesakes of Cynics (Greek for dog or dog-like),  a bad reputation, because the original meaning of Cynic was to live free of oppressive conventions, conformity and cultural norms just like dogs live. (See Diogenes)