HUMAN

Name: MATTHEW FAILOR
Age: 36
Residence: WILLOW, ALASKA
Occupation: DOG TRAINER/MANAGER OF ALASKA ICEFIELD EXPEDITIONS
Years involved with Iditarod: SINCE 2010
Iditarod Role: DOG MUSHER
Current Location: NOME, ALASKA
Date of Photo: MARCH 15, 2019
Temperature: 26F / OUTDOORS

What is your Why?.. Why are you here today and involved in Iditarod?:

I THINK MY WHY WOULD BE, I’VE ALWAYS BEEN ATTRACTED TO JUST HAVING A DOG, OR DOGS IN MY LIFE. AND I REALLY ENJOY SETTING OUR OWN SCHEDULE. AND THIS LIFESTYLE, RACING DOGS, RUNNING DOGS, IS SOMETHING THAT WE CAN DO ON OUR OWN, LIKE, TIME. I WORK FOR MYSELF AND THE DOGS WORK. WE WORK WITH EACH OTHER, SO IT’S A GOOD LIFESTYLE FOR ME.

Tell me about your most rewarding experience on Iditarod?:

WELL, A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO I ACTUALLY HAD A KNIFE ACCIDENT. AND MY KNIFE SLIPPED AND CAREENED OFF THE SLED AND BOUNCED INTO MY KNEE. AND I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO POTENTIALLY BE WITHDRAWN BECAUSE I MIGHT BE, LIKE, A LIABILITY TO THE RACE OR SOMETHING. AND THE RACE JUDGE SAID, “NO, YOU’RE GOOD.” I GOT STITCHED UP AND I CONTINUED TO FINISH. AND IT WAS SO DIFFICULT. I DIDN’T KNOW IF I WAS GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET TO THE FINISH LINE. I DIDN’T KNOW IF, YOU KNOW, I COULD RISK INFECTION, OR AM I GOING TO RIP THE STITCHES BACK OPEN, OR THE PAIN AND ALL THAT STUFF. SO GETTING TO THE FINISH LINE – I MEAN, I PACKED A PAIR OF CRUTCHES IN THE SLED AND KEPT GOING. THAT WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MORE REWARDING; JUST OVERCOMING, YOU KNOW, AND GETTING TO THE FINISH LINE.

What do you know for sure?:

WELL, I KNOW THAT THE DOGS WILL DO ANYTHING FOR YOU AS LONG AS THERE’S A BOND AND HARD WORK PUT IN TOGETHER. AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE MY BACK, I KNOW THAT FOR SURE.

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