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DeeDee Jonrowe: First Musher to Register for the Norton Sound 450

DeeDee Jonrowe mushes down 4th Avenue during the Ceremonial Start of the Iditarod. She will be mushing the Norton Sound 450 sled dog race this February.

The Paul Johnson Memorial Norton Sound 450 sled dog race, which was canceled last year but is scheduled to run in full this February, has one musher officially signed up: Iditarod finisher DeeDee Jonrowe, who mushed the Norton Sound 450 inaugural race in 2012.

Jonrowe has mushed the Iditarod 30 times, and is one of a handful of mushing heavyweights to compete in the Norton Sound race, including Martin Buser, Aaron Burmeister, and Ray Redington, Jr.

Race organizer Middy Johnson said the race will begin in Unalakleet on Wednesday, February 11, mushing to Kaltag and back before following the Iditarod trail along the Norton Sound to Nome.

The payout has been set at $30,000, and the Norton Sound 450 will qualify mushers for the Iditarod. The race is held in honor of Iditarod veteran and Norton Sound Sled Dog Club member Paul Johnson, who died of cancer in 2011.