780 AM | 96.1 FM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

The Sun Sets on Iditarod 2010

Iditarod 2010 was one for the record books: from the top of the leader board to the back of the pack. Lance Mackey made history with his fourth championship in a row, and even the Red Lantern (last-place finisher) did something unprecedented: Celeste Davis, the 55th-place finisher in Iditarod 38, arrived in Nome on Saturday night, well in time for the mushers’ awards banquet on Sunday afternoon. (Davis’ finish time broke the previous Red Lantern record – David Straub’s finish in 2002 – by more than 24 hours, and it would have been a championship-winning time in the Iditarod races of 1973-1980, 1982, and 1985.)

Never before has the entire competitive field of an Iditarod race finished in time for the first banquet. In past years, a second banquet was held in Nome, later in the week, to honor the final mushers to cross the finish line. This year, however, no Red Lantern Banquet will be necessary: all the mushers of the Iditarod celebrated their accomplishments together in the cavernous Nome Recreation Center on Sunday night. Hundreds of Iditarod volunteers, family, friends, and race fans joined them for a lengthy evening of award ceremonies and stories from the trail.

Here are photos from Sunday’s banquet, plus a few shots of rookie musher Celeste Davis carrying her Red Lantern to the finish line, officially bringing Iditarod 38 to its conclusion.

Celeste Davis

The 2010 Red Lantern Celeste Davis arrives in Nome on Saturday night. Davis' finishing time (13 days, 5 hours, 6 minutes, 40 seconds) broke the previous Red Lantern record by more than a full day.

Sun Sets on Iditarod 38

The sun was setting over Nome's Front Street - and over Iditarod 38 - as Red Lantern Celeste Davis finished her race on Saturday evening.

Full House

The 2010 Iditarod Finishers Banquet drew a packed crowd of race fans, mushers' family and friends, and Iditarod volunteers. The event was held in the gymnasium of the Nome Recreation Center: the only place in Nome large enough to hold a crowd of such capacity.

Laureli Broadcasts the Banquet

Every year, KNOM is proud to broadcast segments of the Iditarod Finishers Banquet. Here, Laureli works our sound equipment and narrates the goings-on of the 2010 banquet.

Logan's Mushers

The campaign 4 Paws for Logan teamed up with Iditarod mushers to raise money - and awareness - to help support an autistic boy named Logan from the village of Unalakleet (one of the checkpoints in the race). Funds raised will obtain for Logan a service dog. A thank-you banner (above) adorned one corner of the Rec Center at Sunday's banquet.

Newton Marshall

Jamaican rookie musher Newton Marshall received a warm response from the crowd at Sunday's banquet. Marshall - like all finishing mushers - was given the chance to share reflections and memories from the trail at the banquet podium.

William "Middie" Johnson

William "Middie" Johnson speaks at the podium on Sunday night. Johnson was a crowd favorite; he's the mayor of nearby Unalakleet, Alaska, and he took home the Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award - as well as a new 4-wheeler (or ATV).

Lanier and Son Sing

It's become an Iditarod banquet tradition: Jim Lanier and his son have made a habit of singing Iditarod-themed songs at the finishers banquet. The amateur singer-songwriters were back at it on Sunday, and this year, the junior Lanier took the lead on writing the lyrics. Both generations of Laniers performed the song on Sunday night.

Mackey Receives his Prize

The crowd gave unrestrained applause to 4-peat champion Lance Mackey at Sunday's finishers banquet. The musher received a cash award of just over $50,000.


  1. huskyhauler on March 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Hank Debruin should have been there too.

  2. Tera Cunningham on March 22, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks for the updates and photos of the banquet! I’ve always wondered what goes on during the banquets and I felt like an insider with this coverage! Truly, I want to thank everyone who made KNOM’s coverage possible. It was such a delight to follow your crew along the trail. The coverage was EXCELLENT, your blog was my first stop whenever I wanted to know what was going on. This blog and your commitment to providing up-to-the-minute news to people in rural Alaska have set a high standard for Iditarod coverage. Very personal, yet very professional.

    Also, is there a sound clip from the song the Laniers sang?

  3. Dick Patty Durgin on March 23, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Thanks for all the Iditarod coverage! The pictures of the banquet brought back many great memories–we have been blessed to attend two of them when our granddaughter Amy worked for KNOM. Nome and it’s people will always hold a special place in our hearts! Dick and Patty Durgin

  4. Meryl Bonelli on March 23, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Thank you for wonderful coverage! It was a blessing to hear sounds from the checkpoints, especially Unalakleet. I agree with Tera, this was a new standard for Iditarod coverage! Beautifully done. I can’t wait for next year. Thank you for traveling Laureli!

  5. Rachel McLaughlin on March 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Thanks for the Iditarod photos and summary! It is great to see these, as I am too far away to attend myself! I will be tuning into your blog for next years race for sure! Thanks for your volunteer service!
    Thank you from too far away!
    Rachel M