Team Snowspeeder is the Lakes Region Sled Dog team from New Hampshire, which is lead by Lara Renner who is 15 years old. Lara followed her dreams for competing in the Junior Iditarod in Alaska this past weekend, February 24-25, 2018.
Lara and Team Snowspeeder have been rigorously training for this competition for years. Lara’s hard work, dedication, and lifelong passion for Siberian Huskies have led her to this monumental race. She started mushing when she was 10 years old and says “My passion for mushing only grew when I learned more about the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest and the bond between mushers and their dogs that only comes through training and racing a dog team.” You can read her full biography on the Junior Iditarod website at jriditarod.com. Lara is coached by her father, Steve Renner, who shares Lara’s interest for mushing and provides his unconditional dedication and support.
Cost estimates from Alaska Airlines to fly their gear and dogs from Boston were $16,000, which did not include Lara and her father Steve’s travel expenses. Therefore, it was apparent that the Team would need to drive from Alton, NH to Wasilla, AK in order to participate in the 2018 Junior Iditarod. Team Snowspeeder purchased a 2017 Ford F-250 from Ruth Stephenson this Fall. Grappone Automotive Group was happy to provide a sponsorship discount to assist with getting the Team, dogs, and gear to Alaska safely.
Larry Haynes, President and CEO of Grappone Automotive Group, shared his wishes for Team Snowspeeder before the race, “Please know how impressed I am with you and what you are trying to accomplish. Stay safe, good luck and please give each of your teammates a hug from Team Grappone.” Many team members followed Lara’s progress using the GPS tracker on the Junior Iditarod website, in addition to frequent updates through internal emails and Facebook.
Team Snowspeeder finished the race strong in 8th place. The Team averaged a speed of 9.5+ mph and held a steady pace throughout the competition. We are very proud of Lara and Team Snowspeeder. We look forward to watching her career grow in the years to come.