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THE NATION

`First dude' probably doesn't host many teas

Todd Palin, husband of Alaska's governor, is a former oil-field worker and a snowmobile champ -- for starters.

May 06, 2007|Jeannette J. Lee | Associated Press

"I have to trust my life in his hands, and I do, because he can still think when he's dehydrated and tired," said Davis, a seven-time winner. "You know, I think this is the longest I've been partners with anybody. A lot of teams certainly don't have fun when they're doing it and I like to think Todd and I do."

This year's win is Palin's fourth since he started running the Iron Dog in 1993.

Palin was born in the western Alaska town of Dillingham to Jim Palin and Blanche Kallstrom, who is a quarter Yu'pik Eskimo. He met Sarah Heath at a high school basketball game and they eloped in 1988, six years after graduation, to avoid having to pay for a wedding.

"We had a bad fishing year that year, so we didn't have any money," Todd Palin said. "So we decided to spend 35 bucks and go down to the courthouse."

At home, Palin takes care of the cooking, the bills and other domestic paperwork, in addition to driving the kids to extracurricular activities like basketball and soccer, according to his wife. He divides much of his time between Wasilla, where Track is recovering from shoulder surgery, and the capital in Juneau, where the Palin girls are in school.

"He can go on just an hour or two of sleep a night. He says, 'I can sleep when I die,' " said Sarah Palin. "There is no way I could have done this job without his tremendous contributions to the home life. He's able to keep it organized, like a well-oiled machine."

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