Iditarod vet to retire from distance races

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Four-time Iditarod champion Doug Swingley said he's retiring from long distance sled dog racing.

He said he's got other things he wants to do.

The 54-year-old Swingley said he recently took up endurance horse riding as a hobby.

Swingley's wife, Melania Shirilla, won the Wyoming Stage Stop sled dog race earlier this month. Swingley finished fourth.

The couple said they still plan to raise sled dogs and will likely compete in other stage races.

Swingley became the first non-Alaskan to win the Iditarod in 1995. He also won the 1,100-mile race in 1999, 2000 and 2001 and finished second in 2006.

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