Our favorite dog sled racer, Eva Kolodji, made history today. At 17 years, she is the youngest woman ever to attempt the grueling John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. She launched her team of 8 Alaskan sled dogs at about 1:30 PM in front of a packed grandstand of cheering wellwishers.

Eva started running dogs five years ago, at age 12. This is the culimination of five years of training and hard work. Her determination has already earned her the respect of many, the support of her very experienced dog sled racing mentors (the Chapman sisters), and the help of folks at places like Wintergreen Northern Wear in Ely (who generously sponsored her performance Anorak and winter clothing).

Now Eva has 111 miles of racing in subzero temps through today, 20 below and colder temps tonight, and more than 24 hours on the back of her dogsled before reaching the finish line tomorrow afternoon.

Race updates are at http://www.beargrease.com/. We are whole-heartedly rooting on her and her dogs!

The pics are of Eva launching her team at the Beargrease starting line in Duluth, MN.