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The Iditarod may be the only race that awards a prize for last place. But then how many people can even complete a course that ranges across 1,000 miles of Alaska's ice fields, mountains, and canyons at temperatures that sometimes plunges to 100 degrees below zero? In conditions like these, anything can go wrong. For Brian Patrick O'Donoghue, nearly everything did.
In My Lead Dog Was a Lesbian, his reporter and intrepid novice musher tells what happened when he entered the 1991 Iditarod, along with seventeen sled dogs with names like Harley, Screech, and Rainy, his sexually confused lead dog. O'Donoghue braved snowstorms and sickening wipeouts, endured the contempt of more experienced racers (one of whom was daft enough to use poodles), and rode herd of four-legged companions who would rather be fighting or having sex. It's all here, narrated with self-deprecating wit, in a true story of heroism, cussedness and astonishing dumb luck.
A native of Washington D.C., Brian Patrick O'Donoghue has worked as a cab driver in New York City, a cargo ship wiper, an elevator mechanic’s helper, a pipe fitter's apprentice, a science museum technician, a press photographer, and a TV and print journalist. These days he reports on the oil industry, politics, and sled-dog racing for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. O'Donoghue, 40, and his wife, Kate Ripley, live in Two Rivers, Alaska, with a howling kennel of retired Iditarod dogs.