Rick Swenson knows the Iditarod as perhaps no other living person does. The only five-time winner of the Last Great Race, Swenson has been mushing in Alaska since 1973.
Forty years in, Swenson is still determined to be competitive with his peers, whose talent he rates as “awesome.” In his interview in Nikolai with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen, the musher exuded an enthusiasm for being on the trail. “I sure wouldn’t want to be home today, watching on the computer,” he says. “There’s no amusement park ride that’s as good as going from Finger Lake to Nikolai.”
In Nikolai, Swenson talked about his dog team, his training strategies, and why he feels it’s important to keep speeds moderate on the trail:
As of Tuesday night, Rick Swenson is out of the Nikolai checkpoint; he departed at 5:00pm with a full team of 16 dogs.