Jack Stoneman plans a bright future for his son Will, which includes sending him to college. But when Jack drowns in an icy river, Will’s only hope to see his family through their pending financial crisis is to enter a grueling sled dog race and win the $10,000 prize. Competing with much stronger and better trained men, Will sets out on the 522-mile course from Winnipeg, Canada, to St. Paul, Minnesota. Nothing in his imagination could prepare him for the perilous trek, however, and his very survival depends on the strength and courage of his faithful team of dogs. The team is led by his father’s favorite, Gus, and as the marathon tests their strength and stamina, Will and Gus learn to respect and trust each other. Will is sponsored in the race by newspaperman Harry Kingsley, who keeps up with the racers by train and whose bulletins make Will an American folk hero. But with the harsh weather and terrain—and the threat of dangerous opponent Borg Guillarson—can Will win the race?