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THE CALL OF THE WILD

From the March 2005 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Spending two weeks crossing Alaska in below-freezing temperatures with only dogs for company might not be everyone's idea of fun, but clearly isn't just anyone. From his past experience as a running back in a professional football farm league, to his work as wrangler on a Colorado ranch, to his idea of a relaxing weekend—competing in the Australian horseback-riding sport of polocrosse—it's plain that Lachlan loves a good challenge. He also loves to pray. In fact, Lachlan says, turning to God for guidance and support is an integral part of the sporting activities that play such a big role in his life.

Prayer has been especially useful in his latest passion: dog-sled racing. Lachlan and his equally athletic wife, Linda, first discovered the sport at a dog-sled dude ranch in 2001, and the couple immediately took to it. Soon they'd put their own team of dogs together and had begun to train for their first race. Before long, the Clarkes were prepping for that most famous dog-sled competition of all—the Iditarod, a 1,150-mile race of attrition that runs from Anchorage, in south-central Alaska, to Nome, on Alaska's western coast at the Bering Sea.

Since only one musher can accompany the dogs on the race, that job falls to Lachlan. But he and Linda share the preparations equally, each training a team of 12 dogs, out of whom they choose 16 to participate in the competition. Lachlan and the team successfully completed their first Iditarod in 2003, and they're planning to run again in this year's race, which begins on March 5.A correction was made in the May 2005 Journal: "The article, "Call of the Wild," in the March issue, should have noted that while Lachlan Clarke competed in the Iditarod in 2003, he did not complete that race. The Journal regrets the error."

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