The story of The Last Great Race on Earth is a fascinating and important one. In 1925, serum was delivered hundreds of miles to Nome by dogsled and sled dog in the wake of a diphtheria outbreak that threatened the lives of children.

A new film is set to premiere nationwide that will tell that story. "The Great Alaskan Race" tells the personal story of mushing legend Leonhard Seppala and his dogs Togo and Balto.

While the film won't premiere in theaters until Oct. 25, four-time Iditarod champion and Husky Homestead founder Jeff King took part in an early screening at the Mountain View Boys & Girls Club on Wednesday. 

"My thoughts are why it took somebody so long to make a movie that is such an incredible story about Alaska and dogs and something I'm so proud about," King said Thursday.

 

The film was written and directed by Brian Presley, who plays Seppala.

King says that while he was curious how he'd respond to the film due to his knowledge and experience with Iditarod, he sincerely enjoyed it.

"You know, it stayed true in many ways," King explained. "They took some artistic license as well and dramatization. But as I thought back on other dog mushing movies like 'Iron Will' — based on a true story as well — I see it parallel to that. There was some artistic license. A wonderful story."

King grew up in California. That's where he fell in love with Jack London novels, a catalyst for him heading to Alaska in the mid-70s.

Could "The Great Alaskan Race" inspire the next generation of musher?

"That's one of the reasons I went to the Boys & Girls Club last night," King said. "It's really fun for me to see the kids and be a part of the kids learning about this — anything to do with dogs and saving your friends and heroic acts of adventure. That's what this has."

 

"The Great Alaskan Race" is in theaters on Friday, Oct. 25. Local Regal Cinemas and Cinemark theaters will be showing the film.

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