Cold moments: When weather and sports collide   

Updated: October 28, 2008, 10:58 AM ET

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Libby Riddles

AP Photo

 

5. Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Date: March 20, 1985 (day of finish)

Weather: Multiple blizzards and whiteouts throughout the race.

What happened: Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod, and the weather was so brutal it took her just over 18 days to complete the course -- more than six days longer than it would take Susan Butcher, the second woman to win Iditarod, in 1986. Riddles credits her win (by about five hours) to two crack lead dogs Axle and Dugan. Those dogs kept running while all the other mushers and teams were holed up during a blizzard at Shaktoolik, three days before the finish. "It was grim," she said of the final push. "I could not see from one trail marker to the next. I let my dogs go so far that I could barely see the marker behind me, because I didn't want to lose that sucker. When that was at the edge of my visibility, I'd put my snowhook in and walk up ahead of the dogs until I could see the next marker. And we repeated that process. It was very slow. For some idiot reason the dogs trusted that I knew what I was doing."

Tim Clark

AP Photo/Rob Carr

 

12. 2007 Masters Golf Tournament

Date: April 5-8, 2007

Weather: Temps in 40s on Saturday, April 7

What happened: It was the kind of day you might expect at the British Open, but not at Augusta National in April. "The only other time I remember the weather like this is when I'm here playing on Thanksgiving and Christmas," one Augusta member told ESPN.com's Gene Wojciechowski. With temps in the mid-40s and winds gusting up to around 30 mph, Stuart Appleby moved from a six-way tie for eighth place to the top of the leaderboard by shooting a two-over-par 73. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods managed a 72, to move up to a tie for second place, positioning himself for his usual big final round. But it wasn't to be, as Iowan Zach Johnson came from two strokes behind after Saturday's round, and ran three birdies in the final six holes on Sunday to capture the Green Jacket by two strokes. Woods finished in a three-way tie for second and Appleby in a two-way tie for seventh. Generally bad weather throughout the weekend held Johnson's winning score to a one-over 255, the highest since 1956.


--Jeff Merron


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