e p i s o d e # 7

Videography, Editing: Matthew Nothelfer

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Studio Red Dot jaunts around the world for various clients, and "Red Dot Podcasts" are a result of the photos and video that personally captures our curious and sometimes quirky imagination. These short films include our original music, writing, travel news, travel tips, international culture, media and humor. Enjoy!

"The Last Great Race on Earth" has a starting line, but that line seemed a long way from where I was standing; surrounded by a howling pack of grungy mutts on a warm and muddy mountain plateau.

"These are the best dogs for the job" I was assured. "All they want to do is run," Matt Hayashida claimed while rubbing a torn ear on one of the pack leaders. Matt is the owner and breeder of the clan howling in anticipation. "We keep these dogs in training year-round."

The scene was yelping chaos as his favorite collection of dogs were harnessed and attached to a metal-go-cart contraption. Eight people piled onto the buggy. I couldn't imagine the train of canines moving this unwieldy apparatus with any sort of energy, but Matt recommended I hold on tight. He recommended it three times.

Good thing.

This particular dog team was in training for the Iditarod. Alaska's winter race spectacle runs from Anchorage to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast covering over 1150 miles in the middle of the arctic winter. The milder summer of Juneau and a wheeled cart turned out to be hardly a challenge for our accomplished pack.

"Get it! Get it!" sent the yelps into the background as the dogs suddenly lurched forward. I went the opposite direction and became, rather quickly, very personable with a housewife from Sacramento who was along for the ride. It was only her parental grip that saved me from spilling backwards out of the now surprisingly supersonic chariot.

"Once they start it's hard to wind 'em down," Matt had mentioned earlier. And, for me, imagining the Iditarod starting line in Anchorage suddenly became a whole lot easier.