Iditarod Racer First Innings Speaker for 2019

Our Innings programs for 2019 opens with a howl on Jan. 17 in the Clifton Park Library with a slide talk from an Iditarod competitor, Ken Hamm. Ken raised and trained a team of sled dogs during his 13 years in Alaska. Planning to make the classic race, Ken competed in three Kuskokwim 300 races in southwest Alaska, then the Iditarod in 1983. He finished in 27th place, in a race for which even getting to the starting line takes a huge commitment. Ken will show photos he took during the race and explain what it's like to travel night and day for 1,100 miles through the wilds of Alaska with a team of 16 huskies. He will talk about the 1925 serum delivery to Nome that started the competition, treacherous canyon runs and getting through minus-85-degree wind chills on the Yukon River, plus dog care, sleep deprivation and what it's like to cross the finish line. The free program begins at 7 p.m. in the upstairs lecture room and includes cookies, juice and coffee. Ken grew up in Catskill, got his law degree and went to Alaska to work on native land claims, hunting and fishing rights, and later on natural resource issues and tribal-state relations. He returned to New York in 1990 and joined the Department of Environmental Conservation's Office of General Counsel. His work with DEC included solid waste and state lands issues. He retired in 2014 and continues to work part-time on Forest Preserve topics.

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