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Iditarod 2011

Anticipating the Southern Route: Ray Redington, Jr. and Sven Haltmann

text by David Dodman; audio by Laureli Kinneen When asked his views on mushing past Iditarod (the checkpoint), Ray Redington, Jr. remembered a saying of the “old timers.” “If the wind isn’t blowing directly in your face,” Ray said, “you’re going the wrong way.” On Thursday and Friday, many of this year’s mushers may sympathize…

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Is a “Bottomless Pit of Sugar Snow” Yet to Come?

text by David Dodman; audio by Laureli Kinneen The second half of the Iditarod trail may begin with a “bottomless pit of sugar snow,” says Ramey Smyth. In Takotna – where Smyth (pronounced “Smith”) was taking his 24-hour layover – the Willow, Alaska musher talked with KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen. Smyth said he was…

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What to Do in a 24-Hour Layover? Eat and Sleep

audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman Pete Kaiser says that a 24-hour layover means about the same thing to him as it does to his dogs: “eat and sleep.” At a moment when he was doing neither, the young Bethel musher talked to KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen. Kaiser was in the middle…

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In Takotna, Lead Mushers Stay Humble

text by David Dodman; audio by Laureli Kinneen “It’s early,” Hugh Neff says. “Anything can happen.” With half of the Iditarod trail still to go, it’s a mentality that most mushers seem to share: even Neff and Martin Buser, who – when considering the mandatory layover time they’ve already finished – emerge as the current…

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24-ing in Takotna: Johnson and Berington

audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman “Don’t run too fast” seems to be the mentality of many mushers on this year’s Iditarod trail. At times, the trail has lent itself to fast racing, but experienced competitors, like Unalakleet’s Paul Johnson and Kasilof’s Kristy Berington, have preferred to let their teams keep a measured pace.…

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Gerry Willomitzer Scratches

text by David Dodman; photo by Ben Matheson The number of scratches in Iditarod 39 now stands at six, with the departure of veteran musher Gerry Willomitzer from the race late Wednesday morning. According to Iditarod’s official Eye on the Trail, Willomitzer scratched in McGrath at 11am Wednesday with 12 dogs in his team. The…

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Nikolai in Photos

photos by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman What’s a checkpoint look like? The Iditarod trail passes through a wide variety of terrain – from the forested trails of southcentral Alaska to the treeless expanses of the Seward Peninsula. In Nikolai, where the weather has been mostly warm and pleasant (for humans, at least, if…

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In Nikolai: Billy Snodgrass, Paul Johnson, and Wattie McDonald

audio by Laureli Kinneen; photos by Ben Matheson; text by David Dodman Billy Snodgrass has his “share of complaints” about Iditarod 2011 thus far. He’s dropped more dogs than he’d prefer, he’s disavowed his original goal of finishing in the top 20 – now, he just wants to finish, period – and he’s a rookie…

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