In Iditarod 44, a combination of high-quality dog care, mental toughness, and resiliency brought many mushers to Nome in record times.
Thursday night into early Friday morning, Iditarod mushers Melissa Owens Stewart and Tom Jamgochian finished their races — and, in so doing, came home.
When a dog team passes under the Burled Arch at the end of the Iditarod, the work does not end. The team is then escorted to the official dog lot where their next task begins, recuperation.
For multiple pairs of Iditarod teams — Wade Marrs and Pete Kaiser, and Scott Smith and Noah Burmeister — the most competitive stretch of trail came down to the final mile.
Wade Marrs and Pete Kaiser make a race for the burled arch, finishing in 4th and 5th.
Pushing through a harrowing incident along the Yukon, Aliy Zirkle persevered to her fifth top-five finish in the last five years.
On Tuesday, Dallas Seavey and his dogs came running down Front Street to win Iditarod 44 — and set a new race record. Less than an hour later, his father finished second.
“Unless there’s a big earthquake, one of us is going to win,” Mitch Seavey predicted about himself and his son, Dallas, during his layover in White Mountain.
In Unalakleet, mushers were hoping to hop, skip, and leap-frog their teams toward the top ten. “It’s gonna be a crowded party at White Mountain,” Kelly Maixner says. “I’d better go get there.”
With a time of 2:07:09, West won the C Class and was named the race’s overall champion. Dora Hughes won the Women’s Class, clocking a time of 1:47:03 on the shorter course.