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Race Across Alaska: First Woman to Win the Iditarod Tells Her Story Paperback – January 1, 1988

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Born in Wisconsin, Riddles was 16 when she moved to Alaska in 1972. After working at various odd jobs and becoming involved in sled dog racing, in 1985 she entered the "Iditarod," a grueling sled-dog marathon on the Iditarod Trail from Anchorage to Nome. Nineteen days and 1200 miles later, she emerged from a raging blizzard and crossed the finish line to become the first woman to win this race. This fast-paced description of her bout against both the elements and veteran competitors generates electrical excitement. Former newspaper editor Jones (the Chicago Tribune and the Wall Street Journal, among others) contributes short background articles covering trail history, fabric booties that protect the dogs' feet, checkpoint procedures, etc. There are 11 black-and-white photos and maps at the beginning of each chapter showing Riddles's daily position.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Libby Riddles and Tim Jones

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; Ltr ptg edition (January 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811722538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811722537
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Henry R Pearson Jr on January 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book does a wonderful job of describing the many facets of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race - - the majesty and beauty of Alaska, the personality, strength, and stamina of the dogs, the harshness of the weather, the varied trail conditions and terrain, the sleep deprivation and physical toll exacted on the mushers, the difficulties in following the trail, the friendship and comradery that exists among the mushers, the hospitality of people along the trail, and the excitement of the competition. The style of the writing seems just right - - eminently readable, highly entertaining, very descriptive and insightful. From the comfort of ones armchair, the reader feels very close to the drama, excitement, hardships, danger, and challenge of the Iditarod. While it is true that the author, Libby Riddles, was the first woman to win the Iditarod, to her credit she does not come through as a crusader or a "woman's libber". She is a genuine, sincere person with a great love of sled dogs, racing, the outdoors, and competition. This book is an epic story about how she proved herself to be the best in the world, by winning the Iditarod. She was incredibly dedicated, driven to win, and extraordinarily tough. I highly recommend the book to anyone who loves the challenge, adventure, danger, and excitement of The Last Great Race - - the Iditarod.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
Libby Riddles proves that being a woman in the middle of Alaska's traitorous terrain can be a blessing, especially when flying behind a pack of healthy enthusiastic dogs. Although this recount of the 1985 Iditarod wasn't written to prove a point about the strength and determination of women, the perseverance of the team with Libby in the lead illustrated the inner drive that makes completing a daunting task like the Iditarod possible. In her own words she describes the incredible task of racing a pack of sled dogs across Alaska from Anchorage to Nome while facing unbelievable odds including ferocious weather, exhaustion, doggie runs, sneaky sweepers, and the ever elusive trail markers. This book gives a behind-the-scenes type of look inside the mind of a determined and intelligent musher making moment-to-moment decisions while coming within inches from mortal danger for herself and her dogs. Libby's story will make you want to harness up your beagle and set out for the tundra of Alaska!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marlo Messina Rees on August 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
Libby Riddles is the first woman to win the Iditarod, which is the Alaskan dog-sled race that covers over 1,000 miles.
As I'm not very familiar with Alaska, I had never heard of Libby Riddles, or the Iditarod for that matter. However, my boss, who is from Alaska, brought me an autographed copy of the book as a souvenir from one of her trips home. I immediately started reading the book and was quickly engrossed in Libby's adventure.
The book is written in journal style. I felt as if I were right there on the trail with Libby throughout her grueling race to the finish. Interspersed throughout the pages are interesting Iditarod facts that help the reader to better understand the life of a musher as well as the ins and outs of the race.
Libby, as well as all the mushers, show an amazing amount of courage and strength. From start to finish, many mushers don't get to shower and exist on an hour or so of sleep every 15-24 hours! Imagine that kind of schedule, coupled with the intense physical endurance they're also experiencing. It was simply mind boggling, but very admirable.
I found this a fascinating read; my only complaint is that I wish it were longer! I wanted the story to continue a little bit after Libby crossed the finish line in Nome!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen D. Wilhelm on January 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Libby Riddles personally on a cruise with Princess Cruise Line. Her talk was so enlightening that I bought the book. This is a must read for every Iditarod fan or interested person. The grueling schedule and trails will hold your interest until the end of the book. You'll find out what Libby cared on her sled, how she prepared for each checkpoint and what all the mushers have to endure to come out on top of the pack. You'll easily learn to respect the mushers and the love/dedication they have for the Iditarod.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Diana Rae Patten on June 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
After meeting Libby personally in Juneau May 2001, I had to read the book! She takes you "with her and her precious dogs" on this adventure with details about the event and how she feels,copes and thrives throughout the 1984 Iditarod.
The best part? She won as a team (with her dogs) and as a person of strength with the knowledge that she would also be a role model from both women and men.
I found the book inspiring!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alexandra on January 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
this book made me feel like I was with Libby along the trail! It was awesome! I recommend it to anyone who wants a spirited, trail bazing adventure book! Libby is a great musher, but a better author!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tara VINE VOICE on January 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Libby Riddles is the first woman to win the Iditarod sled dog race in 1985. This is her race autobiography. Thru her retelling of the tale, readers learn about the race, the dogs, the weather, and all the little hardships that go along with the Iditarod trail. From an old washing machine in the middle of the trail, moose carcasses, negative 52 degree weather, broken sleds, doggy frostbite, dogs in heat, and even bootie piracy(I mean dog booties), Libby experiences a lot of bad luck and not only lives to tell, but crosses the finish line first, two and a half hours before anyone else.

It was actually her braving a nasty storm and the Northern Winds that got her ahead. She was the only one to dare it and it worked. Wow. Pretty amazing. Libby gives most of the credit to her dogs tho. I really liked learning about the dogs and their different personalities and how she determined who goes where in the line up.

It fails to hit the five star mark due to layout issues more than writing. It is done in a "newspaper" column like format and most of the time, half the page (the inner column) is a complete blank. It makes the book appear twice as long as it is. I wouldn't have minded so much if they had filled in the blank spaces with pictures. Preferrably dog pictures or the pictures that Libby says she took. (Where are the waterfall pictures???)

Nevertheless, a fun and educational read. Gee (Right) on, Libby!
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