Fifty-two mushers headed out of Willow as the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began in earnest Sunday, March 3. Iditapod host Casey Grove is joined by KNOM's Ben Matheson and Braver Mountain Mushing's Quince Mountain for discussions of the restart, early-race strategy and some of the numbers of the Iditarod, including that this year's race features the highest-ever percentage of female mushers.
Ramping up our 2019 Iditarod coverage, we look back at the history of dog mushing in Alaska, the dawn of long-distance racing and... yes, we talk a little about last year's race.
We talk about trail conditions, which teams look like contenders for the Top 10, our Rookie Of The Year Picks, and the best ways to follow the race. Also, a quick intro to our team on the trail.
Two Rivers musher Aliy Zirkle and all 14 of her SP Kennel dogs made it to the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race's halfway point, the Iditarod checkpoint, for her 24-hour layover. Other mushers coming off their 24s are expected through there Thursday. Earlier on their breaks, mushers shared stories of injuries, sled mishaps and wildlife encounters, as well as sled dog litter-naming conventions.
We take a quick look back at competitive mid-distance sled dog races that many Iditarod mushers use as qualifier or tune-up races. And though...
We check in from the trail, where mushers covered the first 100-plus miles from the Willow restart Sunday to the first checkpoints, Yentna and Skwentna, and on to Finger Lake. Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes talked to mushers at Skwentna overnight, and we take a listener question on sled design. Also, today's episode features an extended interview with Ester musher Paige Drobny, an Iditarod veteran and one of a record field of female mushers.
Top teams in the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are reaching the Yukon River on Friday as the race enters its fifth day, with snow and more warm temperatures in the forecast. Girdwood's Nicolas Petit and Norwegian-by-way-of-Willow musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom have continued to leapfrog each other, with Nic winning a five-course meal in Anvik. We hear more about the different strategies as they came into focus earlier in the race and take a listener question about team positions for dogs.
That’s right: Iditarod has a new champion. And it’s really looking like we’re going to have three women in the top 10 for the first time in 47 years for the Last Great Race. As for the pride and swelling hearts of Bethel, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, maybe all of Western Alaska, Peter Kaiser and eight dogs crossed under the Burled Arch in Nome at 3:39 a.m. Alaska time Wednesday trailed only 12 minutes later by the 2018 champ, Joar Leifseth Ulsom.
Monday morning saw a huge lead change in the 2019 Iditarod, as the team of Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit stalled on the coast, allowing Bethel’s Pete Kaiser to move into first place. At least three others have also passed Petit.
The team of Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit stalled on the edge of Norton Bay, allowing Bethel's Pete Kaiser to race past, as well as several others. Petit had been leading for most of the race, and Monday afternoon, it was still uncertain if he'd even finish. We hear from Petit, and we hear from Kaiser who now might be set up to win his first Iditarod. That, plus explanations of Mushergrams, Teacher on the Trail and... whatever happened to Pilot Rob?
The 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is over, and we left off in our last episode with a lot of loose ends. So here's to tying up loose ends, maybe a minor correction and hoisting the Red Lantern and other awards we failed to mention earlier! Also: We play "Can't Let It Go," because, frankly, we can't get over -- or done with -- the Iditapod. See you next year!
Heading into a final, mandatory, eight-hour rest in White Mountain about 40 minutes in the lead, Bethel's Peter Kaiser could be set up to win his first Iditarod in his team's 10th race. But anything can happen in that final 77 miles, and the defending champ, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, is not far behind. We also talk to some former champs about how they're in the middle of the pack and running a totally different kind of race. Plus: There's no sea ice! But there is Snack Attack with Ben and Zach!
Girdwood's Nicolas Petit stayed in the lead of the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday after making a long 90ish-mile run from Kaltag to Unalakleet overnight. We hear from a couple Yukon-Kuskokwim-area rookies in this year's race, and a couple YK-area parents with kids in the Iditarod. Plus, a question about climate change and a conversation with Iditarod musher Kristin Knight Pace, who has a book out called "This Much Country."
In Episode 7, we talk to mushers making preparations at the Rainy Pass checkpoint, as well as some first-time Iditarod racers and... some volunteers staying entertained by throwing axes? Speaking of throwing axes (loosely), we also answer a question about what happens if you get hurt out on the trail.
Mushers headed north on the Yukon River on Saturday, with the front of the pack on their way to Kaltag, where they turn west and head toward the coast of Alaska. Bethel's Pete Kaiser had advanced his team to the front, and we hear more about how he's managed that from earlier planning, as well as about sled modifications and repairs happening on the trail. Also, Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes somehow works in an interview about Harry Potter books on tape with Martin Apayauq Reitan and Meredith Mapes.
It happened, because Paige Drobny made it happen: The top 10 of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race includes three women for the first time ever. Fans of Drobny, Aliy Zirkle and Jessie Royer are ecstatic, as are some Bethel residents who were cheering on 2019 Iditarod champion Pete Kaiser. We hear from them in this episode, plus a lightning round of questions and... a couple special guests!