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Eye on the Trail: Awards for Iditarod XLV

Iditarod XLV Special Awards Presented at Finisher’s Banquet in Nome Lakefront Anchorage First Musher to the Yukon Award Nicolas Petit – Tanana $3,500 in freshly minted $1 bills and five-course gourmet meal   PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award Wade Marrs – Ruby $500 flight credit and John Van Zyle Art   GCI Dorothy G. Page …

Iditarod Air Force: lifeblood of the race

Forget Alaska-based aviation reality television shows––the Iditarod Air Force pilots are the real deal. With twenty-eight pilots comprising 300,000-plus cumulative flight hours––over 200,000 of which are in Alaska––there is no better group of pilots to call upon to grapple the logistical soup that is Iditarod. These volunteer pilots fly straw bales, drop bags, checkpoint volunteers, …

Heart of the Volunteer

“They’re going to let a guy from Ohio come up here and do this?” Mark Greene couldn’t believe his luck. It was his first year as an Iditarod volunteer and he got the chance to go out on the trail. They stationed him in Finger Lake, and to say Mark loved every minute would be …

Eye on the Trail – Final Four of 2017

The final four mushers of Iditarod XLV have arrived at the Burled Arch, the Widow’s Lamp has been extinguished or at least they tried and the Red Lantern has been awarded.   The last official event of the 2017 Iditarod is the Sunday afternoon Finisher’s Banquet. Paul Hansen of Kotzebue made his way off the sea …

Eye on the Trail: Jimmy Lebling in Nome

Rookie Jimmy Lebling is in Nome. Lebling arrived with a smile and twelve dogs on his gangline. Lebling has been saving all of his adult life to afford Iditarod. Under the arch he said he didn’t want it to end. Everything went very well from Fairbanks to Nome for Lebling and his canine athletes. Lebling …

Eye on the Trail: 17th Dog Racers in Nome

Prior to sunrise on Saturday morning, the announcer standing at the Burled Arch was reading the biography of Matthew Failor but the musher who drove into the chute and parked under the Arch was Michael Baker. The last anybody saw on the GPS tracker was that Failor was ahead of Baker by a mile or …

Eye on the Trail: Carson, Rosenbloom and DeNure Arrive in Nome

Joe Carson is in Nome. He arrived in 55th place to finish his rookie Iditarod run. At the Burled Arch, Carson went to each dog on the gangline with a simple but clear message – GOOD JOB! During the Arch interview, Carson joked about wanting oxygen while running up the hills and having his back replaced. …

Eye on the Trail: Bacon and Wiljes are in Nome

Ever smiling Kristin Bacon stood under the burled arch for the second year in a row. Last year her goal was to finish with a healthy happy dog team and in so doing she collect the belt buckle given to all rookies who finish Iditarod. This year, her goal was to finish with a healthy …

Eye on the Trail: Stielstra and Herbst in Nome

Rookie Justin Stielstra has earned his Iditarod Finisher’s Belt Buckle coming to the finish line in 51st place. The young Stielstra is a Texas transplant with stops in Michigan along the way. Justin worked for his Uncle, Iditarod veteran Ed Stielstra helping to train the Nature’s Kennel Race team and realized that working with sled dogs …

Eye on the Trail: High and Delcourt into Nome

Rookie Justin High came down Front Street wearing a brightly colored parka and a big smile on his face. There could be many reasons for the smile – he finished the Last Great Race™, he earned the coveted belt buckle but perhaps the biggest reason was that his wife Jamiee and 1-year-old daughter were standing …