Name: Bill Arpino

Age: 81
Residence: Tok, Alaska

Occupation: I’m retired

Years involved with Iditarod: We’ve always been involved with it.

Past Iditarod Roles: Musher

Current Location:Settler’s Bay Lodge in Wasilla, Alaska
Date of Photo: March 1, 2022

Temperature: 68 F Indoors

How did you first get involved with the Iditarod?

In ’72, actually… Well, before that there was some interesting things happened, the races. But I’m an outdoor type person, and the Iditarod is one of those things that comes along and you have to… It’s one of those things you got to do in your life. It’s like climbing Mount McKinley or whatever. So, my neighbor paid the $100 entry fee, and that’s how I got involved. But my wife had a stroke that year, and so I had 80-some dogs in the yard training for the Iditarod. Had to start all over again and train the dogs. Yeah. After she survived the stroke.

What was your most memorable Iditarod experience?

My most memorable experience was probably when it was 55 below between McGrath and Ruby. We had a bad snowstorm, and then the weather cleared off and the planes could finally fly. And the checkpoints weren’t set up or anything like that, so we were hauling a lot of gear and we were breaking trails on snow shoes.

What does the 50th running of the Iditarod mean to you?

You never knew how long the Iditarod was going to be, or how many years it was going to go, but it doesn’t surprise me. Yeah. Oh yeah. Knowing the 50th Iditarod makes me feel good. Because I always knew the race was going… There’s a lot of people that say, “No, this is the last year. They’re losing sponsors,” and all this stuff. But it always goes on because it is one heck of a long ways to Nome behind the dog team.

What do you know for sure?:

What I know for sure in life is, you’re eventually going to die, but in the meantime, you got to have lots of fun.



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