Dogs pull a sled during last year’s Fjällräven Polar. Former Ripon College student Larry Daugherty is one of 20 participants who will take part in this year’s event.
Dogs pull a sled during last year’s Fjällräven Polar. Former Ripon College student Larry Daugherty is one of 20 participants who will take part in this year’s event.
   Growing up, former Ripon College student Larry Daugherty dreamed of one day racing a dogsled.
   But he was just a kid.
   That dream became deterred by 13 years of schooling to become a cancer doctor, as well as starting a family with his wife and five children, among other obstacles.
   Recently, however, Daugherty filled out an application to realize his dream. In late December, he found out he had been accepted.
   Daugherty was selected as one of 20 participants in the 2013 Fjällräven Polar, which is an approximately 200-mile long dog-sledding adventure across the arctic tundra of Scandinavia.
   The adventure, designed for amateurs who have never been dogsledding, is scheduled to take place April 9 to 13.
   “I’m totally excited,” Daugherty said. “At this point it doesn’t even seem real. I just found out [Dec. 21] so it’s still kind of setting in that I was selected. So far, I haven’t had a lot of correspondence with the Fjällräven people. They haven’t given me an itinerary or booked my ticket or things like that and I think when those things start happening it will seem more real. At this point it just kind of like, ‘Wow, is this really going to happen?’
   Daugherty, who attended Ripon College in the mid-1990s, grew up in Seattle, Wash. At the age of 10, he dreamed of dogsled racing and later set a goal of someday running the Iditarod.
    He credits that ambition in part to his grandparents, who enjoyed traveling around the world and the outdoors. His grandma’s favorite destination was Alaska and she often sent him newspaper clippings and updates on the Iditarod race as it was going on.
    “My grandparents went to Antarctica twice when I was a kid and seeing their slides of the penguins and the cold weather [inspired me],” Daugherty said. “They just did things that other people didn’t do when I was a kid. They were these very adventurous people and, I think, kind of planted those seeds in me.”

Read the full story in the Jan. 3, 2012 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.