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Posts by David Dodman

In Kaltag, Aaron Burmeister “hoping we can maintain it”

Aaron Burmeister in Kaltag

Against considerable odds, Aaron Burmeister and his dogs continue to do well in the Last Great Race. The Nome-raised Iditarod musher was fourth into the Kaltag checkpoint early Saturday morning (at 5:26am). In an interview with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen, Burmeister said that Kaltag is the first checkpoint where it’s really dawned upon him that “we’re…

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Richie Diehl, ready for the Yukon

Richie Diehl sled dogs, Ruby

“The dogs are real happy,” Iditarod musher Richie Diehl says. “They’re all doing fantastic… I’m happy with ‘em all.” The Kuskokwim musher – Diehl hails from Aniak, Alaska – was taking his 8-hour Yukon River layover in Ruby when he caught up with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen. Both the dogs and their driver seemed to be doing well,…

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On the Yukon, in good spirits: Katherine Keith

Katherine Keith in Ruby

“I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it,” Katherine Keith says. “The fun part for me is just realizing that I get to take a dog team across the state of Alaska, and I’m (just) about the luckiest person in the world, you know?” With good weather, “beautiful” trail, and a dog team – pulled from John Baker’s…

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Photos: Friday along the Yukon

Mushing along the Yukon

As the bulk of Iditarod 42’s competitors now move through the checkpoints of the Yukon River, there’s a palpable sense that the race – which has, of course, been going on for nearly a week – is finally becoming a real race. With more and more of the lead mushers finishing the mandatory layovers where the…

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In Ruby, Royer to “keep pushing” to the coast

Jessie Royer sled dogs, Ruby.

In Ruby on Friday morning, Jessie Royer was keeping the focus on her own dogs – of which she still has many. Royer’s is one of only a few teams to have arrived in Ruby with a full string of 16 dogs still together. That’s despite the “pretty rough” trail earlier in the race. “Maybe (this…

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Ulsom, hoping he can “keep the speed” beyond Ruby

Joar Leifseth Ulsom in Ruby

Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom had a very good run in 2013. In his first Iditarod ever, he finished in 7th place and took home Rookie of the Year. In 2014, he’d love to finish in the top ten again, and while he knows the competition is stiff, his dogs are looking good. “They’ve gotten good…

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Baker, strategizing runs and rests in Ruby

John Baker in Ruby

It was an “uneventful, cold” run to Ruby, John Baker says. “Things went smoothly.” The Kotzebue musher and 2011 champion (and current record-holder for the fastest Iditarod run ever) talked with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen in Ruby on Friday morning. With Laureli, Baker talked about the strategy of when and where he’s taking his mandatory rests…

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Martin Buser, happy to take his Yukon rest in Ruby

Martin Buser approaches Ruby

It’s “perfect timing,” Martin Buser says, that the longtime musher arrived at Ruby at the time he did. His dogs were starting to slow down a bit in the Cripple–Ruby run, and after two long stretches of trail – Ophir to Cripple and Cripple to Ruby, each of which took him about 10 hours to…

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First to the Yukon, Jeff King gets a feast (photos and audio)

Ready for the next course

Thursday night, the Ruby checkpoint temporarily became a gourmet restaurant, as Jeff King’s prize – for being the First to the Yukon River – was served up. The musher’s special meal was as much a media event as it was a meal, but that’s largely because the meal was so lavish: an Alaskan seafood stew,…

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In photos: Ruby

Countryside near Ruby

Ruby, Alaska has nicknamed itself the “Gem of the Yukon,” and given the views from around the checkpoint building, it’s not hard to imagine why. When the Iditarod runs on the northern route (even-numbered years, including, obviously, this year), Ruby is the first checkpoint on the Yukon River; it’s situated on hilly terrain on the…

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