With his sister standing beside him under the Burled Arch – and boisterous race fans literally singing and dancing by the race chute – musher Mike Williams, Jr. had ample sources of support and congratulation upon his arrival into Nome in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.
The Kuskokwim-area musher (Williams is from Akiak, Alaska) finished his 2014 Iditarod run in 11th place, pulling under the Burled Arch – with light snow falling upon his parka, dog team, and sled – at 2:50am.
Unfortunately, Mike Williams, Sr., Mike, Jr.’s father and a longtime musher and Iditarod veteran, was not able to be present to see his son crossing the finish line; a recently-developed illness has put the elder Williams into a hospital in Bethel. But the musher’s father greeted his son’s Nome arrival, nonetheless, via a cellphone handed to Mike, Jr. just a few moments after pulling under the Burled Arch.
With the media assembled for his 11th-place finish, Mike Williams, Jr. reflected on the race he’d just completed. It was certainly a unique and “challenging” trail, although the Iditarod is still “special every year,” he said. “It’s always challenging.”
Hear KNOM’s live broadcast of Mike Williams, Jr., finishing in Nome in 11th place: