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Feature Interviews (2011)

Neff, Table for Two

text by David Dodman; photos and audio by Laureli Kinneen When Hugh Neff arrived into Anvik early this morning, he wasn’t the only one who received an exceptional breakfast. The five-course meal courtesy of Anchorage’s Millennium Hotel was a breakfast for two, and Neff decided to invite Larry Westlake, an Iditarod race judge. (It didn’t…

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In Takotna, Stielstra Talks Attitude, Dogs, and “the Journey”

audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman Ed Stielstra’s staying positive about Iditarod 2011. Although he’s not looking forward to the hills on the trail after Iditarod checkpoint, the McMillan, Michigan musher (try saying that 10 times fast) says he wants “to feel good about the journey,” and so far, he seems to be…

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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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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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In Nikolai: Newton Marshall

text by David Dodman; photo by Ben Matheson; audio by Laureli Kinneen You wouldn’t think that someone from Jamaica would describe 20-degree temperatures as “hot.” But Newton Marshall isn’t speaking for himself; he’s speaking for his dogs. The Jamaican musher is back in 2011, and in Nikolai, he caught up with KNOM trail reporter Laureli…

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Patience in Nikolai: Ken Anderson and Pete Kaiser

audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman “Be patient” and “go slow”: that’s the mentality of Ken Anderson for the race he’s run so far. It’s a view that Bethel musher Pete Kaiser seems to share; despite all that’s been said about this year’s “fast” trail, Kaiser says he’s “taking it easy” so far…

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