Author: Nicole Fortounnamed-3

Success is often defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, an attainment of one’s goals and dreams. However, I have come to learn that success isn’t just the accomplishment of one’s dreams. A person is not born with success. Nor is it something that is thrust upon you due to wealth, strength, intelligence, or beauty. Rather, success is earned through rigorous effort. I define success not by the accomplishment at the end of the game, finish line, recital, or test but by the long journey I take to get there. Mushing has shown me that to be a success doesn’t mean you have to be a first place champion. It has shown me that believing in yourself and pushing through the good and bad times is where you measure how successful you are. Whether I was coming in first on the racing finish line or dead last hours behind the pack I’ve never known determination in the way that sled dogs teach it to you. I have mushed across miles of the frozen Alaskan tundra with dogs on a never-ending level to push on. Mushing has shown me that the word quit is no longer in my vocabulary for my dogs run thousands of miles never giving up on me and I will never give up on them.

About the author:  Nicole Forto, 17, is running in her second Junior Iditarod starting on Saturday February 28, 2015.  Nicole and her family own Team Ineka, a sled dog kennel of 36 dogs in Willow, Alaska.

The Junior Iditarod is a 150 mile dog race in South Central Alaska. It is a qualifier for the Iditarod for junior mushers 12 to 17 years old. Nicole was the red lantern recipient in the 2014 Junior Iditarod.  Nicole lead dogs this year will be Frosty and TyTy.

Her main sponsors are: a The Five Sibes, Alaska Spirit Crafts, The Upholstery Gallery, Alaska Dog Works, and the Willow Elementary first grade class.

Nicole is available for interviews at 907-841-1603 email:, or through her Facebook page:

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