Among the special awards at the Sunday banquet were two given to Jessie Royer: the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award and the Most Inspirational Musher Award.
“9th place in under 9 days? It’s crazy,” Pete Kaiser commented on Wednesday. The fast finishes of Iditarod 2017 are a sign of an “evolving” race, the Bethel musher said.
For the elder Seavey, winning a third Iditarod is a big accomplishment, but it’s not his last. He’s still at the height of his career, he says, with more yet to do.
Poor trail conditions on a lengthy stretch of the Iditarod route may be giving a boost to mushers at the top of the pack.
As Iditarod 2017 approaches its halfway point, mushers’ individual plans for 8- and 24-hour breaks are spreading teams across hundreds of miles of trail.
This will be Royer’s rookie run in the Yukon Quest, although she’s been running dogs for 25 years. She has claimed a spot in the top 20 in Iditarod the past three years in a row – with her best run in 2015, taking 4th place.
A diverse roster of competitors from around the world will be kicking off the 34th annual Yukon Quest — from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory to Fairbanks — on February 4th.
Mushers from Nome, Aniak, Bethel, and Akiak are among the more than 60 sign-ups for the 2016 Iditarod.
In 2015, Jessie Royer achieved her first crack into the top five. Posting consistently fast run times throughout the race, Royer said that she was very pleased with how her team ran this year.
Resting in Galena, Ray Redington, Jr. and Jessie Royer reflect on their races in light of the warmer preparation each team had this season.