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Race Season Photos

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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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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Photos: Friday along the Yukon

Mushing along the Yukon

As the bulk of Iditarod 42’s competitors now move through the checkpoints of the Yukon River, there’s a palpable sense that the race – which has, of course, been going on for nearly a week – is finally becoming a real race. With more and more of the lead mushers finishing the mandatory layovers where the…

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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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