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Emily Schwing, KUCB - Unalaska

Iditarod Trail Begins To Soften Up, Slows Down

Iditarod Trail Begins To Soften Up, Slows Down

Mushers have been travelling this year’ Iditarod trail from Fairbanks with few complains, but after the left Tanana Wednesday, they found a slow, soft trail.

March 12, 2015
Mitch Seavey at the 2015 Iditarod ceremonial start in Anchorage. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - AnchoragE)

Iditarod Mushers Ponder When To Take 24-Hour Rest

Denali musher Jeff King led the Iditarod front-runners into Galena…with Aliy Zirkle and Aaron Burmeister arriving around an hour and a half later. The Iditarod saw its first scratch of the race, as Zoya DeNure made the decision in Tanana, citing personal reasons.

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March 12, 2015
Lance Mackey says this is last Iditarod. (Photo By Patrick Yack - Alaska Public Media)

Lance Mackey on 2015 Iditarod “This Is It For Me”

Race Update 6:00 pm: Five mushers were closing in on Ruby. The group of leaders included Mitch Seavey, Dallas Seavey, Aaron Burmeister, Martin Buser and Aliy Zirkle. The Mackey brothers were taking a layover in Tanana.

The Mackey family has long been known as a mushing dynasty within the Iditarod community. Patriarch Dick Mackey won the race in 1978. Years later, Lance Mackey claimed four championships in a row. Little brother Jason just might take on the most meaningful race of his life. When Jason Mackey arrived in Tanana, he was not feeling good about his dog team.

March 11, 2015
Brent Sass takes a moment with his dogs. The Eureka musher was disqualified from the 2015 Iditarod Tuesday night. (Photo by Emily Schwing)

Many Iditarod Mushers Stock Up On Music, Movies And Audio Books For The Trail

Travelling a thousand miles by dog team can be exciting, but many of those miles can also be repetitive, so many mushers carry iPods stocked with music, audio books, and even movies.

March 11, 2015
Aily Zirkle's team en route to Tanana on Tuesday. (Photo by Emily Schwing)

Aliy Zirkle Leads Iditarod Mushers Out Of Tanana

Aliy Zirkle’s team was the first out of Tanana Tuesday night, leading the field down the Yukon River toward Ruby on the race’s longest leg. Mushers are required to take a mandatory eight-hour rest at a checkpoint along the river. Sub-zero temperatures helped some mushers decide to take the rest early.

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March 11, 2015
Brent Sass takes a moment with his dogs. The Eureka musher was disqualified from the 2015 Iditarod Tuesday night. (Photo by Emily Schwing)

Yukon Quest Champ Brent Sass Disqualified From Iditarod

Brent Sass has been disqualified from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The musher was informed by race Marshall Mark Nordman after he arrived in Tanana that he will not be able to continue the race because the Eureka-based musher violated a rule about using a wireless communication device on the trail.

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March 10, 2015
Buser Retakes Iditarod Lead, First to Tanana; Neff, Zirkle Not Far Behind

Buser Retakes Iditarod Lead, First to Tanana; Neff, Zirkle Not Far Behind

Martin Buser regained the early lead in this year’s Iditarod. He was the first to Tanana Tuesday afternoon. He was followed by Hugh Neff and Aliy Zirkle, both had made it to Tanana by early evening.

March 10, 2015
Iditarod Leaders Pull Into Manley Hot Springs

Iditarod Leaders Pull Into Manley Hot Springs

Girdwood’s Nicolas Petit pulled into Manley Hot Springs just after 3 a.m. Tuesday, with Martin Buser, Hugh Neff, DeeDee Jonrowe and Aaron Burmeister less than two hours behind. The competition in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race can only be described as stiff. There are six returning champions and a handful of other mushers vying for a top-10 finish. But, mushers are all feeling a little new to the race as they travel down an unfamiliar, rerouted trail.

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March 10, 2015
Teams prepare for the 2014 Iditarod start in Fairbanks Monday morning.  (Photo By Emily Schwing - APRN)

Buser Takes Early Iditarod Lead

Race Update 6:30: Past Iditarod champion Martin Buser and rookie Thomas Waerner were the first in to and out of Nenana Monday afternoon. They were trailed by Michelle Phillips and Jessie Royer. Buser arrived about 3:00 p.m. He took off shortly before 3:30 p.m. Waerner was bout 30 minutes behind Buser. DeeDee Jonrowe and Aliy Zirkle left Nenana minutes apart and were trailing the leaders Monday afternoon.

March 9, 2015
Aliy Zirkle heads out of Willow at the start of the 2014 Iditarod. Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage.

AK: Women Who Mush

This year 78 mushers are signed up to drive dog teams in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but only a third of them are women. In the Yukon Quest, only 3 of 26 mushers who started this year were women. Despite the small numbers, many are up-and-coming mushers who are redefining what it means to run dogs.

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March 6, 2015
Yukon Quest finish line. (Photo by Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks)

Brent Sass Outduels Allen Moore For Yukon Quest Win

The bells of the historic Immaculate Conception Cathedral in downtown Fairbanks rang in honor of legendary musher George Attla who died this week as Eureka musher Brent Sass cruised across the finish line to win this year’s Yukon Quest.

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February 17, 2015

Some Yukon Quest Teams Surprised To Find Themselves Among Top-10

There are three Yukon Quest teams currently running among the top-10 that did not plan on racing with the front-runners when they left Whitehorse. In fact, none of them were able to complete the race last year, so they returned simply to finish what they started.

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February 13, 2015
Brent Sass was the first musher to reach Dawson during the 2015 Yukon Quest. (Photo by Emily Schwing/KUAC)

Brent Sass Extends Yukon Quest Lead

The first two Yukon Quest dog teams had smooth runs up and over American Summit and arrived safely in Eagle, the sixth checkpoint on the trail.

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February 13, 2015
Denali Park musher Jeff King competes in the 2015 Yukon Quest. (Photo by Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks)

Jeff King Takes Cautious Approach To Frigid Yukon Quest

Jeff King won the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race back in 1989. He is also well-known on the Iditarod trail, having won Alaska’s other 1,000 mile sled dog race four times. This year, he returned to the Quest, but decided to scratch from the race after only 300 miles.

February 12, 2015
Sled dogs take a rest in the dog yard at Pelly Crossing. (Photo by Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks)

Layovers Vital To Yukon Quest Mushers, Dogs

After Yukon Quest mushers arrive in Dawson City, they drive their teams head across the Yukon River to a public campground, where handlers build elaborate camps for the dogs. They’ll get massaged, fed and sleep for the 24 hour layover.

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February 12, 2015
Lance Mackey cooks up a snack for his dogs. (Photo by Emily Schwing, KUAC - Fairbanks)

For Yukon Quest Musher Lance Mackey, ‘Retirement’ Is A 4-Letter Word

Lance Mackey is currently running in 12th place on the Yukon Quest trail. He is the winningest musher in Yukon Quest history. The four-time champion is a cancer survivor and both his public and private life hasn’t always been positive. The lifelong musher knows he can’t run dogs the way he used to, but he may never be ready to hang up the harnesses.

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February 11, 2015

Lack Of Snow Pushes Iditarod Restart To Fairbanks

The lack of snow in the Alaska Range has persuaded the Iditarod Trail Committee to move the race start to Fairbanks. After a flyover, mushers say the Dalzell Gorge is impassable and the Farewell Burn area is, again, completely bare.

February 11, 2015
Brent Sass was the first musher to reach Dawson during the 2015 Yukon Quest. (Photo by Emily Schwing/KUAC)

Brent Sass First Yukon Quest Musher To Reach Dawson

Brent Sass was the first Yukon Quest musher to arrive today in Dawson City, the halfway point on the Yukon Quest trail. The 200-mile stretch of trail to Dawson City is the longest between official race checkpoints.

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February 10, 2015
Yukon Quest Trail Puts Dog Sled Designs To The Test

Yukon Quest Trail Puts Dog Sled Designs To The Test

On the Yukon Quest Trail, there are a few things mushers have to be especially picky about including a sturdy sled. Jumble ice near McCabe Creek, half way to Pelly Crossing is testing sled engineering this year.

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February 9, 2015

Yukon Quest Rookies Tout Knowledge, Experience Of Champions

Of the 26 mushers signed up to race dog teams in this year’s Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race, 10 are rookies. They might be new to the race, but a few trained dog teams with a handful of well-known and champion long-distance mushers.

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February 5, 2015