Susan Butcher

I just read the sad news that 51-year-old Susan Butcher passed away on Saturday. She died at the University of Washington medical center where she was undergoing treatment for leukemia.

Not long after her fourth Iditarod win I had the good fortune to meet Butcher. She spoke at a scholarship banquet before I headed off to Colorado State University, the same school Butcher attended. Her speech was a wonderful send-off for a group of young scholars setting out on our college careers. One of the most inspirational things she had to share with us is how she set out at 19 to become a dog sled racer as a career. It was a tall order since there was no such thing when she set out on that trail.

Sad news, indeed.