Holy Dog Power & 24 Big Macs!!??

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Imagine eating the equivalent of 24 McDonald’s Big Macs everyday and then running an average of 122 miles everyday  for 9.5 days in a row.  Now picture running this distance in -50F temperatures, deep snow and blizzard conditions while crossing barren tundra, frozen rivers, serrated mountain ranges and dense forests.  Oh…. and you are pulling a sled weighing 300-400 lbs.  Could you do it?

The Husky- mix dogs who run the 1,150 mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Alaska are the world’s greatest athletes.  According to Australian veterinary physiologist, Ken Hinchliff, “there is no other animal, including humans, who comes close to competing.”  Their oxygen uptake (VO2) is 3X as high as our greatest endurance athletes, like Lance Armstrong.

They don’t sweat like humans.  They ‘dissipate’ heat through their tongues, nose and paws.  This makes them more efficient in colder environments.   Their muscles have 70% more energy producing cells than humans.  Where human bodies begin to breakdown over the course of a race, Iditarod dogs’ bodies actually begin to REPAIR themselves.  It has been scientifically proven they are stronger when they reach the finish line then in the first few days of the race.

Their diet would kill a normal household dog.  In race season, Iditarod dogs will consume 12,000 calories a day with 60% of those calories coming from fat.  That is the equivalent of eating 24 Big Mac sandwiches!

As I learn more about these amazing athletes, I have to say they are truly FREAKS of nature.  I don’t say that despairingly at all.  I’m just jealous!:-)