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Iditarod!

A sled dog smiles at the finish line. Photo by David Dodman.

A sled dog smiles at the finish line. Photo by David Dodman.

Iditarod has come and gone. I am exhausted. The entire KNOM staff is exhausted. As dog teams raced their way from Anchorage, through the Alaska Range, up the Yukon River and to the Bering Sea Coast we followed them closely, tracking mushers on GPS, digging through websites for race analysis, listening to Laureli’s interviews with mushers on the trail, and broadcasting race updates three times a day. Then, as mushers approached Nome, we each worked 12 to 16 hour shifts to provide coverage at all hours. We spotted 30 dog teams racing across the sea ice under auroras, watched mushers cross the finish line and interviewed them, live, seconds later…it was exhilarating, satisfying and exhausting. So instead of musing on our coverage I will point you to the fruits of our labor.

David Dodman, KNOM’s web master and resident photo genius, compiled a “Best Of” photo album for Iditarod 2013. Check out amazing photos of dogs, teams, and mushers by David Dodman, Laura Collins and Laureli Kineen.

David and Laura, our Volunteer Coordinator, kept a fantastic KNOM Iditarod blog during the race. Hear mushers talk strategy and trail conditions in interviews with Laureli Kineen, our news director. Follow the closeness and competitiveness of this year’s race in 5 pm Updates with KNOM staff members and volunteers.

Last year’s crop of volunteers wrote excellent posts on KNOM’s Iditarod coverage. I’ll point you to their blogs if you want to learn more about the down and dirty details of KNOM’s Iditarod coverage.

Matthew Smith– “Iditarod and “race season” is an exciting time to be at KNOM, and it’s an experience that, two years running, has been the highlight of my volunteer year.”

Matty Guiffre– “In a nutshell, we cover Iditarod so closely that it exhilarates everyone who works here. It’s a unique chance to shake up routine and take on tasks that we don’t perform on a daily basis.”

Suffice it to say, covering Iditarod at KNOM is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s inspiring to see the talent and dedication of your coworkers in action. It’s invigorating to throw yourself into a completely foreign sports culture and it’s humbling to report on it to an audience who has been following the race for years. And it’s thrilling to finally see the dog teams in person, to meet the odd characters whose perseverance you have come to respect and whose sanity you have come to question, to watch them, men and women and dogs, cross the finish line in Nome after travelling 1,049 miles through the Arctic wilderness and to capture that finish, live, on air. I wouldn’t trade it for anything–even an extra hour or two of sleep.