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A rookie way out front: Joar Leifseth Ulsom, in Anvik

Joar Leifseth Ulsom says his dogs are “running at a nice pace,” which, on Friday morning, seems like an understatement.

The 26-year-old Norwegian is an accomplished musher internationally but a rookie to the Last Great Race, and by a sizable margin, he’s easily the lead rookie of this year’s Iditarod (so far, at least).

Ulsom arrived into the Anvik checkpoint at 7:40am Friday and began his 8-hour layover there. (All mushers must take an 8-hour rest somewhere on the Yukon River; Anvik is one of the checkpoint options.)

Ulsom had bested a number of Iditarod’s household names in making it to the Yukon – names like Mackey, Jonrowe, King, and Baker – but in his interview with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen, he struck an understated tone: “I don’t even know what place I’m in.”


As of late Friday morning, Joar Leifseth Ulsom is in 6th position. He arrived into the Anvik checkpoint with 14 dogs at 7:40am; he’ll be eligible to depart, after his 8-hour layover, at 3:40pm.