Alaska's Golden Spoon - Heirloom Sourdough Starter
Raven About Alaska!
(because that's what I do)
Running with Champions: A Midlife Journey on the Iditarod Trail (Book)

 I have been blessed in living the Alaskan dream.

After coming north for summer employment during college, I spent the next two decades fishing for wild salmon off the coast of Kodiak Island.

David and I built a home in an isolated bay, 8 hours by boat from the closest town. We make our own electricity and get mail once a week by sea plane. Often there are more bears than people in our neighborhood!

An Alaska vacation in 1997 turned my life upside down when I visited Nome to see the end of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. The event embodied some of my greatest passions - the Alaskan wilderness, remote villages, history - and of course the Iditarod dogs. I found myself obsessed with Iditarod facts and soon became a volunteer for the race.

Suddenly, at an age when most people feel their lives are set - I found myself immersed into a whole new world - mushing sled dogs! A few short years later I was shocked to find myself alone on a sled behind a team of sled dogs in the Iditarod - the most famous dogsledding race in Alaska.

Running with Champions: A Midlife Journey on the Iditarod Trail follows my quick progression from innocent tourist - to volunteer - to musher - in the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. It also follows several puppies who grew up to become key members of the winning 2006 Iditarod champion team. Salem received the coveted Golden Harness Award for his outstanding performance in Jeff King's team.

For fun I have put together a little package which includes a book autographed by both myself and Salem (!), a fleece dog bootie and a Lead Dog collector card.

You can order one here...

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 NICE PEOPLE SAYING NICE THINGS!!!

"This is an inspiring story of a middle-aged woman who sets out to live her dream - pushing herself beyond her own physical and emotional limits - to achieve something she never thought possible.      A great journey to follow." -- Gary Paulsen
Gary's books frequently appear on the best books lists of the American Library Association.

"For Lisa, the dogs were champions long before they won a race. Their journey, hers and the dogs, needed no trophy to celebrate success. This is a great story for anyone who dreams of "doing it" - no matter what 'It' is. If I had a tail, I'd be wagging it!"-- Jeff King, 4 time Iditarod Champion

"If you wanted to run the 1200 mile Iditarod with a crazed 850 pound team of sixteen huskies - then read Lisa Frederic's superb account of misadventures and success. She's forty-two, slightly built, a rookie completely new to the sport, but full of resolve. After a winter's apprentice with Iditarod Champ Jeff King, she runs the Iditarod ---and reminds me that great adventures are more than just good planning." -- Joe Runyan '89 Iditarod Champion

"I thoroughly enjoyed this vivid account of a spirited individual with a zest for life who managed to go from curious observer of the Iditarod to crossing under the burled arch in Nome herself in just a few short years. I have a hunch some unsuspecting reader of this book will one day make such a life journey of his or her own." -- Stan Hooley, Executive Director, Iditarod Trail Committee


REVIEW FROM ENJOYNATURE.ORG

A midlife journey; a journey through 1200 miles of Alaskan wilderness in the company of sixteen huskies; a journey to the depths of the human soul, to the outer limits of courage, determination, and endurance.

How many of us dare to dream so large? Who among us has the courage to harness such passion and fully embrace the adventure?

Running with Champions by Lisa Frederic is a moving account of one woman¼s quest to fulfill her dream. Sometimes it is the smallest decisions that have the largest impact on our lives. By the mid-eighties, having settled in Alaska¼s Kodiak Archipelago, Lisa Frederic and her husband David ran their own fishing operation, were building a house on a remote island at the edge of the sea and had traveled to faraway places.

It wasn't until 1997 that they flew to Nome to witness for the first time the finish of the Iditarod.

Lisa Frederic was enthralled by the racers and their dogs: those aspects of Alaska that she most loved had coalesced into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Her soul had stirred. Frederic's interest led her to volunteer on the Iditarod trail the following year and the year after that. These experiences gave way to a dream, to further plans, and to new hopes. I no longer walked, I skipped. I didn't hum, I sang.

Her accounts of training under Iditarod champion Jeff King, of living away from home, of the physical hardships she endured are powerful testaments to her level of commitment towards her newfound passion.

Written in a raw, self-deprecating manner, the poetry nevertheless shines through as she describes her love of the dogs and the thrill of moving with them through an Alaskan landscape that both inspires and challenges. Euphoria and despondency battered her psyche: When David called&I stopped telling him I was afraid&I decided if I never really voiced my fears, they would go away. And then the next day she would have a successful run with her team: I would feel strong and confident  nothing could stop me&I would be so jazzed I could hardly walk.

The Iditarod is a formidable challenge that shook up Frederic¼s life, took her to the edge of her limits, tested her mettle, and did not find her wanting. For some, perhaps, dreams are about finding that edge, that place where there is no room for complacency.

Marie Lamothe enjoynature.org


Letters...

"To get in the Iditarod spirit this year I bought your book a couple of weeks ago off Amazon and read it over the weekend, and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it....I've followed the Iditarod for almost thirty years and have read many many books and articles, watched many videos, and even attended the beginning of the 2000 Iditarod (and was fortunate enough got to get to spend some quality time with Jeff and Donna at their kickoff event at her gallery), but your book was the most down-to-earth, relatable composition of the experience of training for and running the Iditarod I've found yet." Mark Irle

Lisa, I finished reading your book this morning and had to go find your email address (so happy you have a website!) so I could tell you that it was absolutely wonderful! I just wept during the last pages...what an incredible story!! I loved your dedication to Jeff and his family, but mostly to your sweet dogs and your intense will to run that amazing race. I only learned about the Iditarod less than a month ago (where have I been?) when two friends invited me along to Alaska for this year's Iditarod... By the way, I am a cooking fanatic and loved the sourdough story on your website--I will definitely be ordering some when I get back from Alaska! Thank you for the wonderful book that you wrote, thank you for sharing such a touching story. I was just deeply inspired and feel that I am on a path to an Alaskan adventure that is possibly just the start of something very exciting in my life! It is a story like yours that encourages others to make their own dreams come true! My very best to you and David, Susan Bancroft (Texas) :-)

Dear Ms. Frederic, This past June I was visiting Alaska for the first time in my 47 years of traveling and I wanted some interesting reads and one of them was your book. Half way through the book I had to put it down as I did not want it to end. Three months later I picked it up and had major tears running down my face, not only for the fact that I was through with the book but also for your victory. I found it to be such a wonderful book that I will read over and over again. I am happy to say that my husband and I will be returning to Alaska this June-we fell in total love with the places we visited. This visit we are going to visit Denali Park and I would so love to meet you and have my book autographed... Colleen M. Sprecher

Lisa, I loved your book, I'm around your same age and thought WOW what a great adventure for us "middle-aged" women, can't believe they call us that !! Even though I am here in Nebraska and having to put up with -10 to -20 degrees right now is not fun!! I can't imagine what it might have been like for you, but I lived it though your book and want to thank you for such inspiration!! ...I am also a Girl Scout leader and have led my troop on out door adventures and will share your wonderful book with them!! Sincerely, Susan McClaughry

Happy New Year Lisa...After reading your book.... it is an inspiration to females to reach out and serge forward with their dreams. Sometimes people laugh and question me for the "out of the ordinary" things I do but what great rewards I have received from working hard to reach a goal... Thanks for sharing your story. Best to Jeff in his races this season. Lynne

Lisa, ...we bought your book and I just finished it this morning. It was great! I acutally had a dream last night that I was on a sled with these beautiful dogs. Thanks for the adventure. As a fellow dog lover, I can relate to the connection one has with her furry friend. I hope there will be more books in the future. Regards, Chris Urban A long way from Alaska in Rochester, New York

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