Steve Watkins, on the Iditarod trail, and the campaign trail
March 1st, 2018
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Three years ago, Iditarod veteran Steve Watkins attempted to become the first person to finish the Iditarod and summit Mount Everest in the same year. That attempt failed after he and his team were hit by an avalanche. This time around, his goal is to complete the Last Great Race, and then win a race for the 2nd Congressional District of Kansas.
"Running for office can be as tough as the Iditarod, except there are just a lot of haters out there," said Watkins. "You know politics, and you have to realize it's part of it and just do the best you can."
Although Watkins, a former Army Ranger and Fort Richardson solder, is ready to race, he says he isn't running the Iditarod to win, place or even finish. Instead, Watkins says he's here to inspire kids and honor his heroes.
"I always race on behalf of teachers and veterans," Watkins said. "Teachers shape the minds that influence the future. They're always under resourced, notoriously under paid, and they're my heroes. Veterans are also my heroes, I hope to inspire veterans, particularly disabled veterans, ones suffering from injuries or PTSD. I say 'come on, just because our wars are over doesn't mean our lives are.' We can still do great things, we can still contribute to society and we can still help our country grow."
Since he completed the Iditarod and attempted to climb Mount Everest in 2015, Watkins has continued his work as a contractor in the Middle East and earned a master's degree in politics from Harvard.
Via KTUU Alaska