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Feature Interviews (2013)

In Nikolai, planning ahead: Seavey, Kaiser, & Willomitzer

2012 Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey started the 2013 Iditarod without some of his best dogs, due to small injuries. So, he brought along some younger dogs from his family’s kennel. He’s focused on building the team over the beginning of the race, but still doesn’t count himself out as a contender for the win. While…

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In Nikolai: Burmeister and Mackey, surprising themselves

The race was into Nikolai this morning, and Nome’s Aaron Burmeister arrived in first position at 8:11am, followed less than an hour later by Lance Mackey in second position. The two front runners are surprised not to find more teams into the checkpoint. Several were camped along the trail, getting extra rest before making the…

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Failor: “There’s only 750 miles left”

In Rohn, two mushers – Martin Buser and Matt Failor, Buser’s dog-handler-turned-musher – are bucking an Iditarod trend. The two competitors – running “A” and “B” teams from Buser’s kennel, respectively – turned heads when they decided to take their 24-hour layovers in Rohn yesterday. They’ll both be eligible to depart later today (Tuesday), and…

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Buser, in Rohn, hopes for a “new race”

When Martin Buser arrived into the Rohn checkpoint – at 9:53am Monday morning – he was bringing to fruition a plan that has had many Iditarod observers and fellow mushers scratching their heads. The four-time champion (alongside fellow musher Matt Failor) rocketed through Iditarod’s early checkpoints (Yentna, Skwentna, Finger Lake, Rainy Pass) before settling down in…

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Will luck be on his side?

Four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser is no stranger to the Iditarod trail. He revolutionized the race years ago, introducing lean dogs bred to run faster times. And now, it’s the norm. Buser knows what it takes to win the Iditarod. And he feels good about the possibilities this year for his team. Before the race…

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Former champions – Baker, King, Mackey – talk 2013

Few would doubt 2011 Iditarod champion John Baker – a beloved figure throughout Alaska, especially near his hometown of Kotzebue – when he says that “there’s no doubt that we’re here to race, we’re here to win.” The same can-do spirit applies to fellow race champ Jeff King as Iditarod 2013 gets underway, while Lance Mackey is…

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At race’s start, rural Alaskans eye the trail ahead

Late last week, in Anchorage, Iditarod rookie Richie Diehl – an up-and-comer from Aniak, Alaska – admitted that his mood was finally turning from anxiety to, just maybe, a bit of excitement. He wasn’t the only one. Despite the myriad challenges that every Iditarod musher faces before hitting the trail, hometown mushers from rural Alaska…

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