Crookston native Scott Janssen, known around these parts as the “Mushin’ Mortician,” has withdrawn from the Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska on the second day of the race. During the first day of the annual race on Monday, Janssen, competing in his third Iditarod, and his team of dogs peaked at 19th place before falling back.
Then, word came Tuesday from his family, some of which call Crookston home, that he had decided to scratch from the race. Temperatures approaching 40 degrees after Janssen and his team of dogs departed from Rainy Pass caused one of the dogs, Bear, to collapse from the heat, suffering from dehydration. Many of Janssen’s other dogs, while not collapsing, were also clearly displaying the symptoms of dehydration.
According to information provided by his family and also posted on his Facebook page, Janssen and his dogs were able to inch their way back to Rainy Pass and re-evaluate their situation. After concluding that five dogs would have to be dropped from the team because they weren’t up to continuing on, Janssen made the decision to scratch because it’s too early in the race to continue with only 10 dogs.
“Scott’s number 1 concern is always the dogs and this is the only decision that will guarantee their health & safety,” read the Facebook post Tuesday.
Janssen will be home on Wednesday. If you’d like to post comments of support, visit facebook.com/mushinmortician.