Norsk 101

Dogsled racing: an Alaska-Norway connection
Hundespannkjøring: en tilknytning mellom Alaska og Norge

hundespannkjøring

Photo courtesy of Ruth Kvernplassen
Musher (Hundekjører) Lars Monsen from (fra) Skiptvet, Norway, in the 2017 Iditarod race (Iditarodløpet).

Language practice with Christie Ericson

Here in Alaska (Her i Alaska), dogmushing (Hundespannkjøringg) is a popular sport (en populær sport). In fact, (Faktum er at) it is the official state sport (den offisielle statssporten) of Alaska. So we get a little excited (blir litt begeistret) for the start of (ved starten av) the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (Iditarodløpet) every March (hver mars). The Iditarod is the world’s longest sled dog race (verdens lengste hundesledeløp) and goes nearly (løypa er nesten) 1,100 miles (1,800 km) (lang) from Anchorage to Nome. Many people (mange folk) come to (kommer til) Anchorage to watch (for å se på) the start of the race (starten av løpet).

Most of the mushers (de fleste hundekjørerne) in the Iditarod are from Alaska, but there are also participants from other countries (det er også deltakere fra andre land), including Norway (også fra Norge). Norwegian Americans (norskamerikanere) always gather (samles alltid) with Norwegian flags (med norske flagg) to cheer on the Norwegian mushers (for å heie på de norske hundekjørerne). This year (i år) a Norwegian (var det en nord­mann) from Mo i Rana, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, won (som vant) the Iditarod.

Norwegians also played a big role (spilte en stor rolle) in the origin of (i opprinnelsen av) the Iditarod race. When diphtheria (difteri) broke out (brøt ut) in Nome in the winter of 1925 (vinteren 1925), Leonhard Seppala and Gunnar Kaasen were two of 20 mushers (to av tjue hundekjørere) who transported (som fraktet) the diptheria serum (difteriserumet) from Fairbanks to Nome and saved many lives (reddet mange liv). Both (både) Seppala and Kaasen were born in (var født i) Troms county (fylke) and went to Nome to dig for gold (dro til Nome for å grave gull). Kaasen’s lead dog (lederhund), Balto, and Seppala’s lead dog, Togo, are probably more famous than the mushers (er sannsynligvis mere berømte enn hundekjørerne selv)!

This year many Alaskans (fra Alaska) became interested in (ble interesserte i) the Finnmarksløpet in Norway when four-time Iditarod winner Dallas Seavey, (som har vunnet Iditarodløpet fire ganger) ran in the race (deltok i løpet), coming in third place (ble nummer tre). The Finnmarksløpet begins and ends (starter og slutter) in Alta, Finnmark, and is the longest European dogsled race (Europas lengste hundeløp) at 745 miles (1,200 km). The two races have similar challenges (like utfordringer) and the mushers look forward to (ser frem til) what they can learn from each other (å kunne lære av hverandre).

This article originally appeared in the April 20, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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