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Feature Interviews (2014)

On the Yukon, in good spirits: Katherine Keith

Katherine Keith in Ruby

“I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it,” Katherine Keith says. “The fun part for me is just realizing that I get to take a dog team across the state of Alaska, and I’m (just) about the luckiest person in the world, you know?” With good weather, “beautiful” trail, and a dog team – pulled from John Baker’s…

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In Ruby, Royer to “keep pushing” to the coast

Jessie Royer sled dogs, Ruby.

In Ruby on Friday morning, Jessie Royer was keeping the focus on her own dogs – of which she still has many. Royer’s is one of only a few teams to have arrived in Ruby with a full string of 16 dogs still together. That’s despite the “pretty rough” trail earlier in the race. “Maybe (this…

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Ulsom, hoping he can “keep the speed” beyond Ruby

Joar Leifseth Ulsom in Ruby

Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom had a very good run in 2013. In his first Iditarod ever, he finished in 7th place and took home Rookie of the Year. In 2014, he’d love to finish in the top ten again, and while he knows the competition is stiff, his dogs are looking good. “They’ve gotten good…

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Baker, strategizing runs and rests in Ruby

John Baker in Ruby

It was an “uneventful, cold” run to Ruby, John Baker says. “Things went smoothly.” The Kotzebue musher and 2011 champion (and current record-holder for the fastest Iditarod run ever) talked with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen in Ruby on Friday morning. With Laureli, Baker talked about the strategy of when and where he’s taking his mandatory rests…

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Martin Buser, happy to take his Yukon rest in Ruby

Martin Buser approaches Ruby

It’s “perfect timing,” Martin Buser says, that the longtime musher arrived at Ruby at the time he did. His dogs were starting to slow down a bit in the Cripple–Ruby run, and after two long stretches of trail – Ophir to Cripple and Cripple to Ruby, each of which took him about 10 hours to…

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First to the Yukon, Jeff King gets a feast (photos and audio)

Ready for the next course

Thursday night, the Ruby checkpoint temporarily became a gourmet restaurant, as Jeff King’s prize – for being the First to the Yukon River – was served up. The musher’s special meal was as much a media event as it was a meal, but that’s largely because the meal was so lavish: an Alaskan seafood stew,…

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Robert Sorlie arrives in Cripple

Robert Sorlie

Upon arriving at the Cripple checkpoint this (Thursday) morning – at 9:09am – Robert Sorlie’s dog team was looking very good. The Norwegian musher agreed, saying he was “very satisfied” with his team and that his 16 dogs were “excellent.” Hear Robert Sorlie in Cripple: [please check back for complete audio interview] Robert Sorlie departed…

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At Cripple, Petit “ready to move a little faster”

Nicholas Petit in Cripple

In Cripple on Thursday morning, Nicholas Petit was feeling good, and seemingly, so were his dogs. In his interview with our trail reporter, Laureli, Petit said that he’s been keeping with a strategy of not running his dogs too fast – a strategy that he hopes will make his dogs less prone to injury. “Slow…

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Hugh Neff, in Cripple, “all about getting to Nome”

Hugh Neff in Cripple

“For me,” Hugh Neff says, “it’s not just about racing. It’s about exploring, too.” The Tok, Alaska musher’s exploratory spirit has taken him mushing around the world – not just up and down the Iditarod trail, but also to races elsewhere in the state, to Norway, and soon to New Zealand, where Neff says he’ll…

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