Iditarod Musher Lauro Eklund

In this conversation, Iditarod musher Lauro Eklund shares his experiences and journey in dog mushing. He talks about growing up in Alaska around sled dogs and buying his first dog at 17. Lauro’s father was also a dog musher and he learned a lot from him. Lauro discusses his preparation for the Iditarod, including participating in qualifying races like the Copper Basin and Yukon Quest. He describes his experience during the race, the support from Alaskans, and the challenges he faced. Lauro finishes the race in 26th place and reflects on his feelings at the finish line.
In this conversation, Robert Forto interviews Lauro Eklund, a Two Rivers, Alaska musher. They discuss topics such as traveling the trail with family, the types of dogs Lauro prefers, and the future of dog mushing. Lauro shares stories of her experiences and offers insights into training and racing. He emphasizes the importance of trail experience and the well-being of the dogs. Overall, the conversation highlights the strong community and passion for dog mushing in Alaska.


Iditarod, mushing, Alaska, sled dogs, qualifying races, challenges, finish line, dog mushing, Alaska, trail experience, dog care, racing, community


  • Growing up in Alaska around sled dogs and being involved in dog mushing from a young age
  • The importance of participating in qualifying races like the Copper Basin and Yukon Quest to prepare for the Iditarod
  • The support and enthusiasm of Alaskans during the race
  • The mental and physical challenges faced during the Iditarod
  • The mixed emotions of finishing the race and the desire to keep going Traveling the trail with family is a cherished experience in dog mushing.
  • Choosing the right type of dog for the Northern environment is crucial.
  • Trail experience and training are essential for successful racing.
  • The well-being of the dogs should always be a priority.
  • The dog mushing community in Alaska is strong and passionate.
  • The future of dog mushing lies in the hands of the younger generation and organizers.


  • The Support of Alaskans: Enthusiasm and Encouragement
  • Challenges on the Trail: Mental and Physical Struggles Prioritizing the Well-being of the Dogs
  • The Ideal Dog for the Northern Environment

Sound Bites

  • “Growing up here in Alaska around folks who had dogs and just around the sport itself, you know, state sport.”
  • “If I had to tell anybody to get some qualifying races in like a first time, like I did a lot of their first qualifying, but the first couple of big races underneath their belt would be Copper Basin, Yukon Quest.”
  • “The coolest thing I thought that first part of that race was the amount of Alaskans coming out to see us through. I thought that was, that was awesome.”
  • “So my dad, when he was more like before he was raised, he used to go from, he used to spring up in Selawick.”
  • “Another good mentor of mine and one of my dad’s good really close friends that travel with him a lot.”


00:00: Growing Up in Alaska and Around Sled Dogs
12:00: Preparing for the Iditarod: Qualifying Races and Training
14:50: The Support of Alaskans: Enthusiasm and Encouragement
26:23: Mixed Emotions at the Finish Line: Reflections on Completing the Iditarod
28:20: Family Adventures on the Trail
29:42: The Ideal Dog for the Northern Environment
33:34: Trail Experience and Training for Successful Racing
35:30: Prioritizing the Well-being of the Dogs
41:09: The Strong and Passionate Dog Mushing Community in Alaska
46:24: The Future of Dog Mushing: Younger Generation and Organizers