Among the 66 mushers taking part in the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday in Anchorage, Alaska, was Charley Bejna, a 39-year-old landscaper from Addison.
According to Bejna's website, the owner of Charley's Landscaping Co. first became interested in dog sledding while visiting Alaska in 1991 with his father. In 2006, he watched his first Iditarod; in 2007, he was an Idita-rider with musher Bruce Linton during that year's ceremonial start through the streets of Anchorage. He also was a tag-sled driver for Linton's ceremonial run in 2008.
Both Linton and Bejna are Type 1 diabetics, and according to the Iditarod website, Bejna said he was impressed that "Bruce didn't let his diabetes stand in his way."
While Bejna has competed in other sled dog races, this is his first Iditarod, his website said.
The race is set to start Sunday in Willow, Alaska.