In 2014, heading into the Adventure Racing World Championships, Team Peak Performance for Sweden — Mikael and Helena Lindnord, Simon Niemi, Karen Lundgren and Staffan Björklund — was one of the best squads. The course that year was particularly difficult: 435 miles, reaching about 15,000 feet in elevation and spanning 13 different climate zones across Ecuador. On Day 4 of the race, the team reached a transition area, ready to change disciplines from biking to trekking. Just a few hours behind the leaders — close in race terms — the team’s course would suddenly change. A then-unnamed stray dog approached Lindnord. The animal was in poor condition, severely injured with a large wound on its back.

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