ALASKA – With the 2010 Iditarod set to get underway Saturday, March 6 in Anchorage, Alaska, Jamaican musher Newton Marshall appears set to build on the island’s foray in winter adventure sports, and Jamaicans and supporters alike are being encouraged to take part in “Rootin’ for Newton.” Persons can show their support for the “Rootin for Newton” campaign by visiting the Jamaica Dogsled Team website at http://jamaicadogsled.spreadshirt.com/.
Under the guidance of three-time Iditarod, four-time Yukon Quest champion and two-time ESPN/ESPY “Toughest Athlete” nominee Lance Mackey, Marshall is now in the final stages of his preparation for the Iditarod, known as “The Last Great Race”.
Marshall, who had his start at Jamaica’s Chukka Caribbean Adventures, is the first Jamaican and Caribbean musher to enter the race. He has his sights set on building upon the success of the Jamaican bobsleigh team which first participated in the XV Winter Olympic Games in 1988 and skier Errol Kerr, Jamaica’s lone competitor at the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. While Marshall will be a rookie racing the Iditarod, he has proven his qualifications, having completed the grueling Yukon Quest and winning the coveted Challenge of the North Award for best exemplifying the spirit of the Yukon Quest.
Mackey says working with Marshall and the Jamaica Dogsled Team has been a great experience, stating, “Newton has proven himself to be courageous and able to beat the odds as he did at the Yukon Quest. I am proud to be part of the team that will see Newton complete the last great race on earth.”
Marshall, one of Jamaica’s newest sports ambassadors, is excited to be working with Mackey and has his sights set on blazing a trail in Anchorage. Marshall commented, “It is a real honor to represent Jamaica in this non-traditional sport, whose beginnings were in helping children. It has been a pleasure working with Lance and given the grueling training, I am looking forward to making my coach’s kennel and Jamaica proud.”
“Jamaica has had a long and distinguished history in sports and it is heartening that a new ambassador has emerged in a non-traditional sport,” said John Lynch, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “We wish Newton all the best as he takes on this endurance event, and, in the process achieve a feat no Jamaican or Caribbean national has ever done. Jamaicans at home and abroad will be “Rootin for Newton” as he seeks to place Jamaica’s name in yet another chapter in sporting history. I encourage all of us to log on and lend our support,” noted Lynch.
The Tourism Director said visitors to Jamaica can also get a taste of the dog sled experience at Chukka Caribbean Adventures in Ocho Rios, one of the island’s major attraction providers.
The 2010 Iditarod begins on March 6 in Anchorage, Alaska and ends March 21 with the Awards Ceremony in Nome.