In Iditarod 44, a combination of high-quality dog care, mental toughness, and resiliency brought many mushers to Nome in record times.
Champion Dallas Seavey also earned top honors, taking home $75,000 and a new truck for his first-place finish.
Pushing through a harrowing incident along the Yukon, Aliy Zirkle persevered to her fifth top-five finish in the last five years.
Aliy Zirkle does not intend to race for first in Iditarod 2016. She, and Wade Marrs, are striving to hold on to their 4th- and 5th-position standings as they mush towards Nome.
On Saturday, Zirkle did not want to talk about her recent collision with a snowmachine. She says she wants to focus on maintaining a positive attitude for her dogs.
After the shock of the snowmachine collision that injured one of her sled dogs — and killed one of Jeff King’s — Aliy Zirkle, still shaken, was greeted warmly in the Kaltag checkpoint on Saturday.
Early Saturday morning, while on their way towards the Nulato checkpoint, the sled dog teams of Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King collided with a snowmachiner.
On Friday, some Iditarod mushers chose to push their teams before taking the mandatory break on the Yukon River.
“It’s always good to get to the Yukon,” Iditarod musher Brent Sass says.
The majority of Iditarod mushers who arrived first into McGrath didn’t stay long, but some of their decisions earlier in the race might offer clues about their race plans.