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Feature Interviews (2011)

Nikolai Roundup: Neff, Swenson, Lindner, (Ramey) Smyth

text by David Dodman; audio by Laureli Kinneen For Hugh Neff, outcomes on the Iditarod trail are “a matter of fate, timing, and whatever Mother Nature has in store.” With regards to Mother Nature, at least, Neff and many of his fellow mushers seemed keenly aware of the weather on Tuesday. When he talked with…

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4-Time Champs in Nikolai: Buser and Mackey

audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman In this year’s Iditarod, there’s no shortage of superlatives for the trail conditions: so far, at least. At the Nikolai checkpoint earlier today (Tuesday), four-time champions Martin Buser and Lance Mackey – respectively, the first and sixth mushers to arrive there – talked with KNOM trail reporter…

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In Nikolai, a Healthy Dose of Medicine, Before the Race

photo by Ben Matheson; audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman The 41 volunteer veterinarians of the Iditarod fulfill a crucial role: making sure the dogs of The Last Great Race are healthy and fit for the trail. In Nikolai this Sunday, long before a single sled dog or musher arrived, one volunteer vet…

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Generations of Western Alaskans, Rookies No Longer

text by David Dodman; audio by Laureli Kinneen; photos by Ben Matheson The last time Paul Johnson ran the Iditarod, in 1986, fellow musher Mike Williams, Jr. was in diapers. The two men are separated by a full generation – Johnson in his early 50s, Williams in his mid-20s – but they’re both running their…

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Lance Mackey on Dogs and a “Perfect Race”

audio by Laureli Kinneen; text by David Dodman; photo by Ben Matheson Does Lance Mackey – or any of the other mushers in Iditarod 39, for that matter – need a “perfect race” to win this year’s Iditarod? The four-time Iditarod champion doesn’t think so. When he talked to our trail reporter Laureli in Anchorage,…

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Taking Care of the Dogs

audio by Laureli Kinneen; photo by Ben Matheson; text by David Dodman You’ll hear it often from the mushers: “the dogs are the real athletes of Iditarod.” It’s not just false modesty. Over more than 1,000 miles of challenging Alaskan terrain, the dogs are the ones that, literally, move the Last Great Race forward: over…

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