Speaking at the First Alaskans Elders and Youth Conference, yesterday John Baker of Kotzebue announced his intention to race in the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Baker won this year's race setting a new record in the process. He is the first Alaskan Native musher to win the race since Jerry Riley back in 1976 and the first Eskimo to so since the race's inception.
According to an article in the Anchorage Daily News, Baker said "This year I hadn’t thought past winning. I hadn’t thought past what happens once I crossed the finish line. Well, I realized, it wasn’t all about me. This life wasn’t all about me, me, me. There was other people involved. Other people had worked just as hard for me to win this race. So I needed to get together with my family, friends and sponsors that make up team Baker and ask them what they think we should do. They didn’t hesitate. They said, ‘You are going to race.’
… My part in team Baker is running the dogs. So I’m going to race again and my dream is to win the Iditarod and break a new record this year."