Amongst the chaos of the Breaburn check point an athlete and a coach (a working dog and handler) find a small space to gain comfort and strength from each other. Myself as an outside observers can only witness the moment caught in this photo.
To be the athlete and coach in this moment we watch them lean on each other to overcome the exhaustion, share in the pride of coming this far and see them face an agonizing choice. Keep going, together or stay behind while the other goes on. Either choice is full reward, risk and heartbreak. None of us can make their choice for them. This is their race. This is their experience. Either way the choice is right for them.
As a distance witness, I am, inspired to see the athlete and the coach even attempt something so grueling as the Yukon Quest. The years of training they have done to come this far, the distance covered and the distance to be covered is daunting. My mind bends when I add ever changing obstacle of weather to the years and the distance. My inspiration and awe grows, for every moment I look at this picture. What also grows is my panic. The panic about facing the decisions they are going to have to make together.
This picture has moved me from being just a witness. I am now the coward, seeing two Sentient beings coming together for an experience I could only wish to be a part of.
Thank you Pat Kane for being there to bare witness and thank you to all the Dog Sledding Teams for doing the impossible for the rest of us!
Rebecca B. Sargeant
To See More Information about the Yukon Quest and see more of Pat Kane photos chase them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YukonQuest