Post-Iditarod arm-wrestling match leaves fan with broken bone and musher Zirkle mortified
NOME -- There was a sickening pop, followed by an eerie silence as the crowd inside Breakers Bar realized what they’d witnessed: Aliy Zirkle had just broken some woman's arm.
Grace Liu learned a painful lesson about tangling with mushers Wednesday night in Nome when Zirkle, a 45-year-old sled dog racing superstar from Two Rivers, snapped the California lawyer’s arm like a piece of driftwood during an arm-wrestling match just hours after the 15-time Iditarod finisher guided her team to a fifth-place finish in the 2015 Iditarod.
“Everyone gasped,” said Liu, a 36-year-old patent lawyer from Fresno. “And you know it takes a lot to quiet a bar in Nome.”
Zirkle said it was her first arm-wrestling contest. And likely her last.
“God, I feel bad,” she said Friday.
2nd dog on Lance Mackey's team dies on Iditarod Trail
Another dog on four-time Iditarod champ Lance Mackey's team died while racing Friday, his second dog to die suddenly in just over a week.You can rest assured that the State, the race veterinarians, PETA, the Humane Society, and the ASPCA will be all over this one.
The second death occurred while Mackey and his team made the 46-mile run from Elim to White Mountain. Around 5:15 p.m., his 3-year-old dog named Stiffy died of unknown causes, according to Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race officials.
On March 12, Mackey lost his first dog. Three-year-old Wyatt died on the 120-mile route between Tanana and Ruby. Mackey described Wyatt as the “next leader to become famous” on his kennel’s website.
A necropsy on Wyatt found no abnormalities that could explain the death, according to a news release from Dr. Stuart Nelson, the Iditarod’s head veterinarian. Further testing would be conducted, Nelson said.
Iditarod officials said a necropsy is also planned to determine the cause of Stiffy’s death.
Before the deaths of Wyatt and Stiffy, a dog hadn't died while racing in the Iditarod since 2009.
Mackey's reputation is as a dog-handler and trainer par excellence, with nary a hint of mistreatment in his past. Let's wait and see what the vets determine before rushing to judgement, shall we?
And now, for all who are weary of bad news, wash your ears out with this:
Love at 34,000 feet: Pilot proposes to Alaska Air flight attendant midflight
|Erik Hill / Alaska Dispatch News|
A midflight marriage proposal Wednesday left an Alaska Airlines flight attendant so speechless she almost forgot to say yes.
Eric Greener, 30, proposed to Brandy Hollenbeck, 34, on a morning flight from Seattle to Juneau, surprising Hollenbeck and delighting passengers and the rest of the crew.