At the Iditarod Banquet in Nome Sunday night, mushers, fans, and race officials celebrated the 44th running of the Last Great Race. Before they announced awards, though, organizers presented Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King with a special donation from the community of Nulato.
As Iditarod mushers continue trickling into Nome, onlookers got a treat as Brent Sass roared at about 11 p.m. Wednesday night.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race is 1,000 miles long, but for a couple dog teams, the most competitive stretch of trail came down to the final mile.
As Dallas Seavey was jogging into Nome, his main rival for much of the race, Eureka musher Brent Sass, hadn’t left White Mountain. After barreling down the trail at the front of the pack, Sass’s dogs had had enough.
Many of the Iditarod's most accomplished mushers are struggling with this year's trail. Jeff King lost a sled-dog during an incident outside Nulato with a snowmachine. Just before 10am this morning, Lance Mackey scratched in Galena, citing personal health concerns. And Martin Buser took a spill on the way into Unalakleet that had him blacking out from pain. Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes caught up with Buser to see how he'll make the remainder of his trip to Nome. Download Audio
Reigning Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey is the first musher into White Mountain. He checked in at 9.48 a.m. Monday for the mandatory 8-hour layover at the checkpoint before continuing on the final 77 miles to Nome by way of Safety.
39 minutes separate Dallas Seavey from his father, Mitch Seavey, in the final stretch of the 2016 Iditarod. Brent Sass is in pursuit in the third position as the race comes to a sprint finish. Dallas Seavey pulled into White Mountain at 9:48 Monday--the exact same time of his record-setting 2014 win. But between White Mountain and Nome that year, a ground blizzard ended the race for then-leader Jeff King, and Dallas pushed through the Safety checkpoint and past Aliy Zirkle for the win.
Competition is hardly confined to the front as Iditarod teams sprint along the coast. Mushers in Unalakleet are hoping to hop, skip, and leap-frog their teams toward the top 10.
A day-long march up the coast and across the sea ice has boiled down to an honest race for Nome as a father-son duo from Seward battle it out on the Iditarod trail against each other and an Interior musher who has trained tirelessly to cross under the burled arch ahead of the pack. This year’s race could come down to a combination of speed and power among dogs and pure grit and desire among mushers. Download Audio
It’s been a week of racing for mushers in the Iditarod, and those in the middle of the pack are struggling. Though, it’s for a variety of different reasons. As Alaska Public Media’s Zachariah Hughes reports, for some the difficulty is the race itself, but for others it’s the challenges inside the lives they’re away from while out on the trail. Download Audio
Brent Sass has been hard to catch in this year’s Iditarod. He has camped outside of checkpoints for the majority of the race, stopping only long enough to grab food and supplies, running his team much like he would in Alaska’s other 1,000 mile sled dog race, the Yukon Quest. Download Audio
Unalakleet was buzzing overnight as Iditarod mushers and their dog teams arrived on the Bering Sea Coast. As KNOM’s Emily Schwing reports, their sense of urgency was palpable. Download Audio
When Aliy Zirkle sped through Kaltag, she refused to answer question about an incident that involved a snow machine collision on the Yukon River overnight. After traveling down the trail in the afternoon sun for a few hours, Zirkle decided to camp with her dog team until afternoon temperatures cooled. Download Audio
As top Iditarod teams reached the checkpoint at Galena, several were trying to account for their spots at the top of the pack. Alaska Public Media’s Zachariah Hughes spoke with three mushers surprised for one reason or another with their place in the standings. Download Audio
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Jeff King's dog team was attacked by a reckless snowmachiner. One of his dogs was killed, two are seriously injured. KNOM's Emily Schwing caught up with King in the Nulato checkpoint to find out what happened.
In Saturday's early morning hours, a snowmachiner repeatedly tried to harm Iditarod veterans Aliy Zirkle, Jeff King and their teams outside of Nulato, according to an Iditarod press release, killing one dog and injuring several others.
As Iditarod mushers drive their teams to Nome, a controversial rule-change is casting a shadow over the event. Some are accusing race organizers of siding with corporate sponsors by placing a so-called gag-order on mushers competing in the event. But even critics say that without those sponsor dollars, there might be no race at all.
Aliy Zirkle was the first musher to reach the Yukon River checkpoint of Galena Friday morning. She arrived at 10:46 with 14 dogs. Brent Sass was next into the checkpoint but swiftly moved through without stopping with his 15 dogs. Mitch Seavey pulled into Galena by 2:45.