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Biographies - Susan Butcher
Susan Butcher
Image Source: Galen Frysinger
Susan Butcher
Born: December 26, 1954
Died: August 5, 2006
Briefly
American dog musher who rose to fame when she became the second woman to win the Iditarod dogsled race in 1986, and went on to become the second four-time winner in 1990, and the first to win four out of five sequential years.


  

Links: Iditarod Race
 
 
               

Susan Howlet Butcher (December 26, 1954 � August 5, 2006) was a dog musher who rose to fame when she became the second woman to win the Iditarod dogsled race in 1986, and went on to become the second four-time winner in 1990, and the first to win four out of five sequential years.

Butcher was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in nearby Cambridge, a lover of dogs and the outdoors. She studied at Colorado State University and ultimately became a veterinary technician. To pursue her love of dogsled racing and breeding huskies, she moved to the Wrangell Mountains area of Alaska.

Living in Alaska, Susan Butcher began training to compete in the Iditarod sled-dog race, a grueling 1,049-mile race through arctic blizzard conditions across the Alaska wilderness, which tests the endurance of both mushers and dogs over the course of one to two weeks. After placing in several Iditarods, Butcher was forced to withdraw early in the 1985 when two of her dogs were killed by a moose, and six others were severely injured. Libby Riddles, a relative newcomer, braved a blizzard and became the first woman to win the Iditarod that year.

The more experienced Butcher won the next race in 1986, and then proceeded to win again in 1987, 1988, and 1990. Even in 1989, she placed second. She placed in the top five finishers 12 times. While fellow four-time winners Martin Buser and Doug Swingley won as many races as Butcher, and Rick Swenson won five, no other competitor so thoroughly dominated the sport over a half a decade.

Butcher married fellow dog racer David Monson; they successfully competed in almost every major sled-dog race in numerous countries around the world.

Her accomplishments gained her substantial media attention in the late 1980s and earned her many awards, including the "National Womens Sports Foundation Amateur Athlete of The Year Award" and the "Tanquerey Athlete of the Year." She also won the "U.S. Victor Award" for Female Athlete of the Year two years in a row.

On December 2, 2005 Butcher was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia, which manifested as a blood disorder three years earlier. She underwent chemotherapy at the University of Washington, and was expected to need a bone marrow transplant once the cancer went into remission. Butcher died on August 5, 2006, from complications following a bone marrow transplant. She is survived by her two daughters, Tekla and Chisana, and her husband, attorney and musher David Monson.



Bio Source: Susan Butcher @ Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Butcher
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