Saturday, March 16, 2013

Team Ineka: A Mushing Family Chasing Down the Iditarod Dream

Nicole Forto of Team Ineka in the Willow Junior 100 Race in Alaska

So many things attracts a person to the sport of mushing: the love of sled dogs, the great outdoors, the cold, the snow, the beauty of the countryside, the challenge against nature, and the sheer feeling of freedom of being out on the trail just musher and his or her dogs. Musher, trainer, and canine behaviorist Robert Forto  - also my co-host on "The Sibe Vibe" - has been hitting the snow-covered trails now that the sledding season is in full swing in Alaska. He also has plans of preparing for his first Iditarod race, hopefully in 2014, and hits the trails at every opportunity to practice, as well as training for upcoming races. Team Ineka is a long distance Siberian Husky/Alaskan Husky racing team driven by Forto and his teenage daughter and junior musher, Nicole. 

Robert Forto running  Team Ineka
Recently, I had the pleasure of turning the mic on Robert when we kicked off the Iditarod season speaking with him and his daughter, Nicole. It was a great conversation all about Huskies, sled dog racing, and how Team Ineka is a family affair that also includes son Tyler and wife Michele. Hearing about how the Fortos share the love of Huskies and mushing is so heartwarming!

"After seeing my kids doing this with me and teaching them and learning from t hem and working with them every day, I realized that I am living the dream." ~ Robert Forto

If you didn't have a chance to listen in to the really fun and informative show, feel free to give it a listen right here! It was also really interesting listening to Nicole talk about what it's like for a teenager to be involved in the sport and the love of raising, caring for, and racing the family's Huskies. When most teenagers are out cruising the malls, Nicole and her beautiful team of Huskies are cruising the snow-covered trails (see above photo), and loving every minute of it! It's a show I'm sure you'll enjoy!

You can also read my article about Robert and Team Ineka in the current edition, page 6 and 7, of American Pet Magazine!

You can check out all of our "The Sibe Vibe" episodes on Forto's  Dog Works Radio website and our new "The Sibe Vibe" blog!

I've asked this question before...why isn't Sled Dog Racing a category in the Olympics? There was a sled dog demonstration in the 1932 Olympics...but that's it as far as we could find. We think having Sled Dog Racing in the Olympics would be a grand idea! We'd watch and woo those teams on for sure!

Speaking of sled dog teams, we here at the FiveSibes would like to offer our woos and congrats to Mitch Seavey on winning the Iditarod 2013 in 9 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes, and 56 seconds, and to Aliy Zirkle for zipping in as runner-up in 9 days, 8 hours, 3 minutes, and 35 seconds! This year's Iditarod posed a few extra challenges with warmer temperatures greatly affecting trails and how the sled dogs were run, and also some issues with a kibble shortage. All in was a great race and congrats to all!

We'd like to thank our hosts of the Saturday Pet Blog Hop! Be sure to visit them on their first three links below, and also check out all these other great blogs! Happy Saturday!


  1. I just love their dedication and team work!

  2. They are just so amazing! The team work is unmatched.