Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

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Lex Treinen covers culture, homelessness, politics and corrections for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@alaskapublic.org.
A man holds a medalion wearing a parka

Good luck charms? Some Iditarod mushers carry one. Others would never consider it.

“It's kind of just a physical reminder that it doesn't really matter if the travel is bad, you know?” said one musher about the importance of carrying his mom's keychain.
A man in musher's gear kneeling with his arms around a white, blue-eyed sled dog

Tundra, an unpredictable captain

Alberta musher Aaron Peck has some contradictory things to say about Tundra, a 5-time Iditarod veteran and one of his main leaders. “He's a leader, but I can't have him in lead too much because...
A woman in a purple outer layer ties a boot while sitting on a cafeteria bench

Wandering bison and bone-jarring moguls challenge back-of-the-pack Iditarod mushers

At least one musher was stopped by a half-dozen buffalo on the trail from Rohn to Nikolai.
A closeup of a black-and-white husky with blue eyes and a pronounced mask

Steve, who’s kind of a jerk

Fairbanks veteran Lisbet Norris doesn’t hesitate to say she has a favorite dog on her team of fluffy Siberian huskies. 
Two people talking near a dog sled

Iditarod teams navigate rough, windblown trail into Nikolai

Hugh Neff said his 54-year-old arms were exhausted by the constant bumping. “I’ve taken a few Tylenols, let’s say,” he said.
A dog team

Iditarod rookie describes trip down steep and twisty Dalzell Gorge as ‘just zip, zoom, zag, bing, bang, boom’

Teams must navigate the Dalzell Gorge on their way to Rohn. It's marked by a series of steep downhills and some very tight turns.
A dog team mushes in

Iditarod teams met by ‘super good trail’ as they enter Alaska Range

At Rainy Pass Lodge, many mushers soaked up the mountain views and the love from a few excited tourists who arrived on charter planes.
A close up of a black and brown dog

Viva, the sled dog queen

Rookie Gerhardt Thiart has a very specific story for choosing Viva for his Iditarod team. Last year, he was running an Iditarod qualifier when he got lost on a lake. There were snowmachine tracks headed...
A younger woman and an older woman stand behind a counter surrounded by photos and decorations

Anchorage restaurant Mexico in Alaska celebrates 50 years

81-year-old owner Maria Elena Ball changed the Mexican food game in the young state of Alaska, and she’s got no plans to retire.
A man in an orange parka sits on a sled next to a truck

The race is on: Iditarod teams hit the trail in Willow under clear skies

Some mushers worried about the heat for their dogs as warm temperatures heated the snow.
two dogs: one looking ahead and one looking back

Our favorite 30 photos from the snowy 2022 Iditarod ceremonial start

As one race fan put it, the Iditarod felt back to "normal-ish."
A white man with glasses and a beard holds a black and orangish dog

Stealie, the unexpected leader who never looked back

In our first daily Iditarod dog profile, we bring you Stealie, rookie Eric Kelly's main leader.
two husky dogs

The 2022 Iditarod starts this weekend. Here’s what to know.

The race, in some ways, is back to normal: Mushers are again dashing 1,000 miles to Nome.
A man in a fuzzy orange hoodie and a mustache kneels next to a dog, petting it

This Eagle River nurse has seen a lot of trauma this year. His Iditarod quest has helped him cope. 

Matt Paveglio will start the Iditarod after watching dozens of patients die during the COVID-19 pandemic. He also had to bury his mother.
A woman ina helmet and parka holds two dogs around her arms

‘He wanted death to occur’: Iditarod musher Bridgett Watkins recalls harrowing moose attack

Bridgett Watkins was training near Salcha when a moose attacked her team, stomping it repeatedly.
A moose stands in a snowy train track with a yellow train engine behind it

Hungry, angry and aggressive moose put mushers on high alert before Iditarod

Heavy rain and snow have forced moose onto dog trails resulting in several harrowing encounters.
A blond sled dog lying on top of a plywood house on a chain

Can anyone beat Dallas Seavey? Top Iditarod mushers say they’re ready to try.

The five-time champ will have to defeat numerous top teams, including his dad's, if he wants to make history this year as the winningest Iditarod musher.
A side by side image of a scabby hairless dog lying on a couch next to a harnessed sled dog leaping in the air on a snowy trail

Vets were once unsure whether Zeke would live. Now, he’s racing in the Iditarod.

Six years ago, Kailyn Davis adopted Zeke. He was a hairless, scabby rescue dog. She says running with a dog team has helped him heal.
A musher gets his nose swabbed for COVID-19.

Iditarod to require daily COVID testing for race officials and volunteers

Mushers will also have to get COVID tested three times before the start of the 1,000-mile race to Nome, and once in the checkpoint of McGrath.