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Adjutant General Wins Charity Sled Dog Race

Written By Army Sgt. Michelle Brown
Alaska National Guard

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The crisp winter air covered the glistening trail as Alaska’s adjutant general raced to the finish line and victory during the “Top Brass” charity sled dog race here Feb. 11.

Army Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus along with five senior leaders representing all branches of the U.S. military participated in a three-mile dog sled race to determine who would be named the “top brass.”


Army Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Katkus, Alaska’s adjutant general, races to the finish line during the “Top Brass” Charity Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska, Feb. 11, 2012. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Guy Hayes

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Each participant was assigned a three-dog team and musher from last year’s “Top Dog” charity sled dog race to serve as a mentor.

“This was excellent and really fun,” Katkus said. “About 100 yards into the trail, you don’t hear anything except the dogs breathing and the sounds of the sled runners going down the trail.”

Katkus and his team of world-champion athletes rose to the challenge and won the race with a course time of 9:28, nearly a minute faster than his fellow competitors. The general credited the win to his superior teammates: Cooper, Eeyore and Lizzy.

“This was my first time mushing, but I had a team of veteran dogs in front of me, keeping me on the sled,” he said. “I also followed the advice I was given to just hang on to the sled and the dogs will do the work for you.”

ExxonMobil made a $20,000 contribution to the Wounded Warrior Project, a program designed to honor and empower wounded warriors by raising awareness, helping injured service members and providing them a variety of additional services.

“I would like to thank ExxonMobil on behalf of all of the military,” Katkus said. “I want to convey the importance of their donation and how it’s going to change people’s lives for the better.”

The “Top Brass” Charity Dog Sled Race was held as part of the 39th annual ExxonMobil Open. The race has been an Alaska tradition since 1973. Aaron Stryk, ExxonMobil public and government affairs advisor, said the race is designed to pay tribute to the official sport of Alaska, while highlighting the invaluable institutions that give so much to the community.

In particular, he added, the race sponsors want to show appreciation to the nation’s wounded warriors who have given so much for their country.

“Thank you for all you do in service to Alaska and our country,” Stryk said. “I hope this can be our way of saying thank you.”

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About Posted by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer. In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials. Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat. Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republicanand The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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