Susan Butcher

Susan Howlet Butcher ( born December 26, 1954 in Boston, Massachusetts, † August 5, 2006 in Seattle, Washington) was an American dog sled racing - driver ( musher ). She became famous by four wins in five years at the Iditarod dog sled race.

Susan Butcher, born in Boston, grew up near Cambridge. At Colorado State University, she completed a veterinary medical degree and was an engineer for veterinary medicine. Because of your preference for sled dog races and husky breed she moved to Alaska, where they settled near the Wrangell Mountains. Susan Butcher was married to David Monson, also a well-known dog-sled guide.

Iditarod Dog Sled Race

In Alaska, Susan Butcher began training for the Iditarod dog sled race, a two-week race through 1049 miles wilderness of ice in Alaska. The honor of winning the race as the first woman, she missed a few previous appearances in 1985 due to unfortunate circumstances: A moose killed two of her sled dogs, six others were seriously injured, so Libby Riddles, a previously unknown rider, won the race in 1985 and as the first female champion went down in the annals.

Butcher won in the next three years (1986, 1987, 1988 ) in a row, in 1989 and won second again in 1990. Twelve times they landed among the top five in total. Except Butcher Martin Buser, Doug Swingley and Lance Mackey also won four times the race, Rick Swenson even five times, but no other athlete dominated the sport such as Butcher in the five years in the late 1980s.


On 2 December 2005 she was diagnosed with acute leukemia Butcher. At the University of Washington, she underwent chemotherapy. On August 5, 2006 Susan Butcher died due to complications following a bone marrow transplant. She left behind her husband and their two daughters, Tekla and Chisana.