Anderson wins Kobuk 440

Former FL resident victorious in sled-dog race

Ken Anderson

Former Forest Lake resident Ken Anderson outpaced a field of 10 to win the Kobuk 440 sled-dog race which finished in Kotzebue, AK on Sunday.

The Fairbanks, AK resident hit the finish line of the 440-mile race with six dogs and a 15-minute cushion over rookie Scott Smith. Anderson dropped six dogs along the route. He and Smith entered and left the final checkpoint at nearly the same time early Sunday morning. Anderson placed second in the 2011 race. He is coming off his 12th Iditarod, in which he placed 12th.

The Kobuk 440 has been running for 20 years and is the final race of the season. Anderson netted $12,000 of the $50,200 purse for the win.

Leading up to the Kobuk 440, Anderson blogged on his Web site that he looks forward to the race all year because it winds through some of the most beautiful country in the state.

“By now the team is really hardened and able to handle the long 80-90 mile runs we do in the race,” he wrote. “…I’ve finished pretty much everywhere but first in that race, so hopefully we can end the season on a big note. I still don’t think the team has peaked yet this year and hopefully it will happen in this race.”

Anderson is a 1990 graduate of Forest Lake High School. His parents, Henry and Betty, are Forest Lake residents.

  • Margery Glickman

    It’s shameful that the paper continues to promote Iditarod musher Ken Anderson just because he once lived in Forest Lake. What happens to dogs during the Iditarod includes death, bloody diarrhea, paralysis, frostbite (where it hurts the most!), bleeding ulcers, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, kennel cough, broken bones, torn muscles and extreme stress. At least 142 dogs have died in the race, including two dogs who froze to death in the brutally cold winds.

    Veterinary care during the Iditarod is poor. Here’s just one example: Veterinarians have allowed dogs with kennel cough to race in the Iditarod even though dogs with this disease should be kept warm and given lots of rest. It’s dangerous for the dogs with this disease to exercise with any intensity. Strenuous exercise can cause lung damage, pneumonia and even death. Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease that normally lasts from 10 to 21 days.

    Iditarod dogs are beaten into submission. Jane Stevens, a former Iditarod dog handler, describes a dog beating in her letter published by the Whitehorse Star (Feb. 23, 2011). She wrote: “I witnessed the extremely violent beating of an Iditarod racing dog by one of the racing industry’s most high-profile top 10 mushers. Be assured the beating was clearly not within an ‘acceptable range’ of ‘discipline’. Indeed, the scene left me appalled, sick and shocked. After viewing an individual sled dog repeatedly booted with full force, the male person doing the beating jumping back and forth like a pendulum with his full body weight to gain full momentum and impact. He then alternated his beating technique with full-ranging, hard and fast, closed-fist punches like a piston to the dog as it was held by its harness splayed onto the ground. He then staggeringly lifted the dog by the harness with two arms above waist height, then slammed the dog into the ground with full force, again repeatedly, all of this repeatedly.”

    FOR MORE FACTS: Sled Dog Action Coalition,