From halfway awards to best dog care to rookie of the year, the annual banquet that closes the Iditarod allowed mushers to tell stories about their own Last Great Race.
Kelly Maixner and Bethel’s Pete Kaiser battled for their Iditarod finish in a pack of 5 mushers crossing under the Burled Arch within an hour of each other early Thursday morning.
Wade Marrs, in his best Iditarod finish yet — 8th place — also sets the 2015 pace for the fastest Safety-to-Nome run, at 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Third to Nome for Iditarod 2015, Aaron Burmeister was greeted by friends, family, and the Nome St. Lawrence Island Singers and Dancers. “The dogs performed phenomenal…I’m just honored to be the guy that was on the runners this year driving them to Nome.”
In Iditarod 2015, Mitch Seavey was second to arrive under Nome’s Burled Arch.
Aliy Zirkle led Iditarod 2015 out of Koyukuk late Saturday morning, followed into the evening by Aaron Burmeister, Jeff King, Jessie Royer, and Dallas and Mitch Seavey. These frontrunners jockeyed for lead on the 154 mile run to the coast.
Burmeister, first into Unalakleet, is comfortable on the coast. “I felt right at home when the wind started blowing,” said the Nome musher. According to Race Marshall Mark Nordman, mushers should arrive Tuesday.
The race leaders are on their way to the coast. KNOM’s Matthew Smith caught a few top 10 (and champion) contenders in Koyukuk Saturday.
On his 32nd Iditarod, pulling into Huslia, Martin Buser reassesses his team and his race: “If I make this race so important that I compromise my values, then I’m a loser. That’s what I don’t want to happen.”
“Shocked” to be first into Huslia, Aaron Burmeister basks in the checkpoint’s hospitality. Happy to see his sick team feeling healthy again, he turns his sights to the coast.