(joated, I'm talkin' to you!)
Rick Swenson, the only 5-time winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, has removed his name from the starters' list, citing personal reasons.
He has finished the grueling, 1100± mile race 35 times.
It's been a tough winter for many of the veterans. Lance Mackey, a four-time winner, scratched from the Yukon Quest race earlier this month after his dogs began getting sick.
Hugh Neff, defending Quest champ, lost by an hour or so to Allen Moore. Several other mushers lost too many dogs to finish the race.
The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race ran the 1,000-mile course from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, to Fairbanks this year. On even-numbered years, the course is reversed.