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Feature Interviews (2014)

Dallas Seavey & Aliy Zirkle finish two minutes apart

Dallas Seavey, the 2014 Iditarod champion

As this year’s Iditarod reached a late turning point in a jumble of the leaders, Dallas Seavey was unaware he was approaching his second victory coming into the finish line. Charging up the chute just two minutes later, Aliy Zirkle was also unaware of how close she was to catching the leader. Both logged finishes…

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In Unalakleet: rookie Abbie West, traversing the Great Land

Abbie West interviews with Laureli, Unalakleet

Caring for her dogs under clear skies in Unalakleet on Sunday afternoon, Abbie West, in sizing up her first experience with the Iditarod, seemed content to balance the good with the bad. It’s definitely been a challenge, she says, but also an adventure. And besides, she’s currently the lead rookie. West spoke with Laureli Kinneen…

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Kaiser, in Unalakleet, running a rebuilding team to Nome

Pete Kaiser in Ruby, taking an 8-hour layover, Friday

“I don’t have my sights set on anybody,” Bethel musher Pete Kaiser says. In the remaining few days of the race, his goals are relatively straightforward. “(Let’s) just get to Nome as fast as we safely can, and whomever we pass, we pass, and whoever passes us, passes us.” On Sunday morning, Kaiser caught up…

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Jeff King, at Unalakleet, “glad” to be with the front-runners

Jeff King inside the Unalakleet checkpoint

With dogs that “know where we are” and look “so strong,” Jeff King hit the Norton Sound coast Saturday night. He arrived into Unalakleet at 7:29pm with 12 dogs. Talking with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen inside the Unalakleet checkpoint, the musher was relieved to be taking a layover amongst Iditarod 42’s front of the pack. “I’m…

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Aliy Zirkle, first to the Norton Sound

Aliy Zirkle, mushing into Unalakleet

“I didn’t know until 8 miles ago that Martin (Buser) wasn’t ahead of me,” Iditarod musher Aliy Zirkle said at the Unalakleet checkpoint Saturday evening. Pulling into Unalakleet well within daylight hours – 4:39pm on Saturday – Zirkle was praised for her fast, potentially record-breaking arrival time. A large crowd of well-wishers and race fans was…

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Dallas Seavey, in Kaltag, ready to race

Dallas Seavey sled dog, Kaltag

When it comes to the sections of the Iditarod trail that traverse the Yukon River, Dallas Seavey’s two goals, he says, are somewhat contradictory. On the one hand, the 2012 Iditarod champion likes to “charge the dog team” prior to hitting the (Norton Sound) coast. That is, rest and prepare the dogs so that they’re…

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In Kaltag, Aaron Burmeister “hoping we can maintain it”

Aaron Burmeister in Kaltag

Against considerable odds, Aaron Burmeister and his dogs continue to do well in the Last Great Race. The Nome-raised Iditarod musher was fourth into the Kaltag checkpoint early Saturday morning (at 5:26am). In an interview with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen, Burmeister said that Kaltag is the first checkpoint where it’s really dawned upon him that “we’re…

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Richie Diehl, ready for the Yukon

Richie Diehl sled dogs, Ruby

“The dogs are real happy,” Iditarod musher Richie Diehl says. “They’re all doing fantastic… I’m happy with ‘em all.” The Kuskokwim musher – Diehl hails from Aniak, Alaska – was taking his 8-hour Yukon River layover in Ruby when he caught up with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen. Both the dogs and their driver seemed to be doing well,…

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