Tucker County’s latest hometown hero is John Logar, who just won the Iditarod Invitational Foot race in 23 days, 23 hours and 10 minutes while pulling a heavy sled containing all of his provisions through the snow and over ice covered rivers. In order to even participate in this 1,000 mile race, participants must be one of only 50 invited each year that finished the 350 mile section the previous year. The race takes place on the same trail, but one week before, the famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race.
According to Bill Merchant, the Iditarod Trail Manager, “This race is not for everyone. A mistake at the wrong time and place in the Alaskan winter wilderness could cost you fingers and toes or even your life. At times the only possible rescue will be self rescue.”
When asked about the danger and difficulty he faced during the race Logar responded, “The margins of error for that distance and that time are slim. It doesn’t have to be bad weather. It’s remote and you could break your leg and it’s freezing outside.”
Logar is a native West Virginian who lives in Davis and is an ER doctor in Elkins. Logar credits his wife Jody with getting him interested in running when they met in Morgantown and also with making his participation in the race possible. Because of Jody’s influence, running became part of their lifestyle, except since their two children were born they can no longer run together. “I am fortunate to be married to a lady who unconditionally supports me on these endeavors. I can only do this because of her. Financially, time, physical, emotional, none of it matters except that Jody supports me and encourages me.”
Logar was not aware until after the race how much the people of Tucker County were excited and proud of his accomplishment. “I believe that the local support, and I’ve just realized, has been absolutely amazing and it has made me very proud to be from Tucker County. It is important that the local people are supporting me so much. It’s phenomenal but it’s not the reason I do that.”
Logar’s advice to anyone considering something difficult and/or out of the ordinary was, “You don’t know it’s impossible until you try. How can you know it’s not attainable unless you try.”
By Pamela Ruediger