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Martin Buser fought his way to a sixth place finish in Nome

Under light snow, a large crowd greets Martin Buser on his arrival for Iditarod 42

Under light snow, a large crowd greets Martin Buser on his arrival for Iditarod 42

Martin Buser Arrived under the burled arch this afternoon at 3:58pm. Appreciating a warm welcome from friends and family, Buser was overcome with emotion, and still reeling from the tough race that was Iditarod 42.

Martin Buser was one of the many mushers to incur injury along the early parts of the trail who chose to forge on despite his personal hardships. He started the race strong, testing out a new, somewhat renegade strategy, similar to 2013: a hard push up front with an earlier rest in the race, to secure an early lead. He ran his team on short, short rests all the way into Nikolai, where he chose to take his 24-hour layover. Here, he nursed a swollen ankle incurred on the horrendous stretch of trail from Rohn.

Throughout the race, Martin also battled a finger dislocated a couple days before the race start, an injury that followed him and continued to impair him along the way. Martin told KNOM about this injury at his rest in Ruby, sounding a little light-hearted about it. But with hundreds more miles behind him, arriving in Nome, it is apparent his finger became more of a hindrance. Buser said, “It needs to be buddy-taped with popsicle sticks. It keeps going back, I can’t use it.”

Continuing, Buser shared his struggles with the his supporters: “All my bodily functions are gone, I can’t balance, I can’t do anything. I keep wrecking and falling. I can’t do the dogs justice, that’s what’s so bad. I’m extremely proud of [my dogs]. I’m extremely disappointed in me…I was a let down for them. I couldn’t live up to their potential.” It was easy to see Martin was battling waves of emotion as he was greeted by big hugs, and as he passed love and congratulations, (along with some salmon strips), to his dog team.

As handlers, friends, and family divided up the dogs, stringing them on leashes to lead them to the dog lot, Martin was officially checked in as the sixth place finisher for Iditarod 42. Finishing in a time of 9 days 58 minutes 58 seconds, Martin Buser summed his arrival up well, declaring, “Just made it, 12 dogs coming to Nome. Happy to be here.”