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Feature Interviews (2010)

In Unalakleet: The Mayor Mushes Home

Lots of Iditarod competitors are happy to arrive in Unalakleet; the checkpoint, as the first stopover on the Norton Sound coast, signals that a musher’s long run to Nome is entering its final stretches. But recently, one musher was exceptionally happy to pull into Unalakleet; he’s not only a proud Unalakleet resident, but also its…

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In Unalakleet: Vern Ott, Race Vet

Vern Ott has come all the way from Kansas City to be a part of the Iditarod – not as a competitor, but as a volunteer veterinarian – and this is his fourth year doing so. The race depends on countless volunteers like Ott; vets, in particular, serve a crucial role, since they keep the…

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In Unalakleet: Mushers Talk Trail, Weather, Dogs

The Iditarod checkpoint of Unalakleet – the first on the Norton Sound coast – has seen a lot of mushers come and go over the past few days.  Our trail reporter Laureli spent time in Unalakleet (her hometown) on Sunday and Monday; she sampled the mood from a handful of mushers stopped there as they…

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In Unalakleet: Jeff King and Hans Gatt

Lance Mackey may currently be in first position, but he has two solid competitors in close pursuit: Jeff King and Hans Gatt. King and Gatt both rested in the Unalakleet checkpoint on Sunday morning, and our trail reporter Laureli surveyed their impressions of their runs thus far. King says that he likes Mackey – but…

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Lance Mackey First into Unalakleet

Three-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey says “you gotta be willing to gamble,” and at least for the time being, his bold moves are paying off. Mackey mushed his team from Nulato to Unalakleet in one, virtually unbroken run, stopping for just 7 minutes in Kaltag on Saturday afternoon and, in the process, overtaking Jeff King…

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In Ruby: The Yukon Fox

In 1975, Emmitt Peters won the Iditarod: as a rookie. Peters finished first in just the third year the Iditarod was held, and he did so by shaving a full six days off of the previous year’s championship time; his record wasn’t surpassed until Joe May’s run in 1980. Peters’ incredible achievement, as he describes,…

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In Ruby: Western Alaskans

Recent temperatures have been exceptionally low on the Iditarod trail: especially along the Yukon River, from which race leaders (Lance Mackey, Hans Gatt, Jeff King, and others) departed on Saturday afternoon. For some mushers, 35 below was less than ideal, but Kotzebue musher Robert Nelson says he likes the cold – and so do his…

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In Ruby: Checkpoint Volunteers Bill and Tor

What’s it like to be an Iditarod checker at one of the trail checkpoints? Race volunteers Bill and Tor have more than a generation of Iditarod experience between them. They talked with our trail reporter Laureli in Ruby, sharing their favorite experiences from the race, their love for Alaska, and more. Their interview was interrupted…

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In Ruby: Hugh Neff

Our on-the-trail reporter Laureli caught up with Hugh Neff in Ruby. The Iditarod veteran was the third to arrive at the checkpoint; he pulled in at 4:30am with 13 dogs, eager for a rest. Neff said he planned to take an 8-hour layover there (which all mushers must do somewhere on the Yukon River: if…

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Leaders (and a Big Prize) in Ruby

Jeff King still has a long trail before the finish line in Nome, but he’s already won something in Iditarod 2010. The four-time Iditarod champ was the first musher into Ruby – making an exceptionally quick run from the Cripple checkpoint – and waiting for him was a seven-course meal and a large cash prize.…

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