Lots of Iditarod competitors are happy to arrive in Unalakleet; the checkpoint, as the first stopover on the Norton Sound coast, signals that a musher’s long run to Nome is entering its final stretches. But recently, one musher was exceptionally happy to pull into Unalakleet; he’s not only a proud Unalakleet resident, but also its mayor.
William “Middie” Johnson received a warm, hometown welcome on Monday afternoon, and our Iditarod reporter Laureli was there to capture the excitement of the crowd – over 100 strong – that gathered to wish the musher well:
At the time of writing, Middie Johnson is in 33rd position. He left the Shaktoolik checkpoint at 3:46am on Tuesday with 12 dogs.