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Feature Interviews (2012)

Extended Interview: Sebastian Schnuelle Talks Iditarod 2012

Sebastian Schnuelle is a musher who’s raced the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest. But he wasn’t mushing in Iditarod this year: instead, he followed the mushers along the trail on a snowmachine, sharing his experiences through blogs, Facebook posts, and photographs. Now retired from competitive mushing, he has unique insight into how mushers approach the…

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In Unalakleet: Braxton Peterson, Keeping Pace with His Mentor

“It feels good,” Braxton Peterson says, to be in Unalakleet: not least because he shared time in the checkpoint with four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey. Peterson – a rookie of the Last Great Race and a protégé of the Mackey kennel – talked with KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen in Unalakleet, where he said that…

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Colleen Robertia: “The dogs saved my life last night”

Colleen Robertia came into Unalakleet in need of rest and recuperation – both for herself and for her dogs. She says she’s not accustomed to the colder weather of northwestern Alaska. The cold, dry climate of the last stretches of the Iditarod trail, Robertia says, can quickly dehydrate her sled dogs and freeze the moisture…

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At the Old Woman Cabin, Butcher’s Family Recalls Her Legacy

“People see her as a wonderful dog musher, and she most definitely was,” Tekla Monson says of the late musher Susan Butcher, a four-time champion of the Iditarod. “But she was (also) an amazing mother… She was dedicated to being a mother.” Monson speaks from direct experience; she’s the daughter of Susan Butcher and David Monson.…

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Allen Moore: Aliy Zirkle’s Dogs Looking “Really Good”

Aliy Zirkle’s team “still (has) some gas left in the tank,” Allen Moore told KNOM in Unalakleet. They’re “still perky.” Moore is an Iditarod veteran and the husband of Aliy Zirkle, with whom he shares a dog kennel. Although Moore isn’t running the Iditarod this year, he shared his impressions of his wife’s team with…

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Willomitzer: “I might have to pull out”

Gerry Willomitzer had a long run – a very long run – coming into Unalakleet. After nearly 24 hours on the trail from Kaltag, Willomitzer finally arrived into Unalakleet a few minutes before 4am Monday morning. His dogs, Willomitzer said, were not looking good. It was “a rough run in(to) here,” he said, noting that his…

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Kaiser: It was “Soft and Slow” Coming in to Unalakleet

In Unalakleet, Bethel’s Pete Kaiser talked about the state of his Iditarod race with KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen. Kaiser said it was “soft and slow” in the latter part of the run from Kaltag to Unalakleet (beyond the Old Woman cabin, a common resting place for inbound mushers), but he hoped his dogs could…

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John Baker: Trail Could “Finally” Improve on the Coast

It was a soft, “slow” trail from Kaltag to Unalakleet, John Baker told KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen on Sunday. The 2011 Iditarod champion, however, was holding out hope that the trail along the Norton Sound coast, starting in Unalakleet, would “finally” become more of what his dogs are accustomed to. (More than perhaps any other part…

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Burmeister: Team is “Just Rockin’ Right Now”

After a few years away from Iditarod mushing, Aaron Burmeister’s re-entry into the Last Great Race, some had predicted, would be a humble one. Instead, he’s leading the pack. In Unalakleet – where the Nome musher arrived in third position, at 8:30 Sunday morning – Burmeister said his “team is coming together.” The dogs are…

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