Sports Writing Goes North


A long but magnificent read from Grantland: “Out in the Great Alone.”

It’s an intense and unbelievably detailed story about the Iditarod, by Brian Phillips, a sports writer who “hate[s] snow” and is “not even a dog person.”

Choosing a passage to quote is as difficult as choosing which checkpoint to take your mandatory 24-hour-break at, but here’s one of many good ones:

What you can’t deny, though, is that these animals, having been bred to want to pull sleds, really want to pull them. I mean, the dogs are hysterical, they’re in raptures….It’s like standing inside the mind of a saint right before an out-of-body experience.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →