In Training for Icy Adventure; Peter Is Undaunted by the 1609-Kilometre Trek from Canada to Alaska

News Mail Bundaberg Qld., March 13, 2010 | Go to article overview

In Training for Icy Adventure; Peter Is Undaunted by the 1609-Kilometre Trek from Canada to Alaska


WHAT Childers man Peter Muller has in front of him is perhaps one of the greatest physical challenges known to man.

It is not the Hawaii Ironman, nor is it the New York Marathon nor the Tour de France.

What Mr Muller has committed to is a little lesser known in Australian circles, but by no means less extreme.

The Yukon Quest is a 1609km (1000-mile) sled dog race along the Yukon River, from Canada to Alaska.

It is the longest of its kind and regarded by mushers around the world as the ultimate sled dog challenge.

"It is the hardest, it definitely is," Muller said.

Mr Muller is 61 years old and if he does compete, he will be the oldest ever rookie in the Yukon Quest.

"I'm 61, but I feel 35. The main reason I'm doing this is to be an inspiration for people to get off their bums and achieve something, because it's never too late," he said.

The nine- to 12-day journey tests the competitors mentally and physically.

The musher will often have to push the sled up hills in temperatures that drop below -20 degrees, while the solitude, according to Mr Muller, is just as hard to handle.

"You need to be a person who doesn't mind being alone - you wouldn't survive if you needed to socialise," he said.

The dental prosthetics surgeon said he often talked to himself and his dogs during the trips to keep sane.

"You share a very close bond with your huskies; they are all you have," he said.

Muller lives with his dogs in Childers, doing 15-20km walks and runs each day.

His training for the event would rival most athletes' preparations.

He will tackle the Kokoda Trek in April, before a 700km charity walk through regional Queensland on his return to raise money for Queensland's flood victims.

Muller played top-level football as a youth in Germany, while also serving in the army.

"You don't lose that need to stay fit," he said. …

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