Suburban Iditarod Contestant Says Competition Tough For Dogs And People

ADDISON, Ill. (CBS) — The only Chicago-area contestant in this year’s Iditarod sled-dog race in Alaska says the competition is tough for humans and animals.

Suburban Iditarod Contestant Says Competition Tough For Dogs And People

Addison’s Charley Bejna had to bow out before completing the thousand-mile race between Anchorage and Nome.

He says preparing for the mental stress of the race is the biggest challenge.

“A month before the race, I started only getting like three hours a night of sleep, because on the trail and stuff, you really don’t get much sleep at all,” said Bejna.

But Bejna has a unique physical challenge: he’s a Type-1 insulin-dependent diabetic.

“I’ve had previous in years where you’re out on the trail and you can’t test your blood sugar because everything’s you know, it’s like 50-below out and everything’s frozen,” said Bejna.

He says that was not a problem this year, but he scratched from the race when he knew his dogs — as he put it — were not having fun any more.

“It’s kind of got me motivated to do a lot more training for this coming season,” said Bejna.

Because make no mistake: he’ll be back.

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