- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) - A Bloomfield Hills teenager is traveling to Alaska to compete in the 40th annual Junior Iditarod.

Hannah Mahoney, 17, decided to compete in the dogsled race after being moved by the movie “Balto.” The film was based on the real 1925 Great Race of Mercy, which in part inspired the Iditarod, where a lead dog in a dogsled team races to retrieve a life-saving diphtheria antitoxin in Nome, Alaska.

Hannah, who is the only Michigan representative in the event, will travel to Alaska on Friday with her family. It will be her first and last Junior Iditarod, because 17 is the last year a teenager can compete in the race, The Detroit Free Press (https://on.freep.com/2lnCSxI ) reported.

“Since I saw the movie … it’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Hannah said. “I’m very excited. I can’t wait for the start. My goal is to do well in the Junior Iditarod. I’d like to eventually do the whole Iditarod, but I don’t know if that’ll be possible. The actual Iditarod is 1,049 miles.”

The Junior Iditarod, which covers 150 miles over two days, is scheduled to begin Feb. 25.



Hannah said the $150 entry for the junior race is nothing compared to what her family has spent to prepare her for the event.

Hannah has been training with Iditarod racer Wade Marrs since August,” said her mother, Suzanne Mahoney. “She leased a team from Wade for the race, and our family has been flying back and forth over all her school holidays so that Hannah could learn to race.”

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Information from: Detroit Free Press, https://www.freep.com

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