The countdown is on for the start of the 2017 Iditarod Sled-dog race in 91 days on March 4th.
Sign-ups for the next year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began Saturday. 40 veterans and 12 rookies are on the list so far to compete in 2017.
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.
Unalakleet was buzzing overnight as Iditarod mushers and their dog teams arrived on the Bering Sea Coast. Their sense of urgency was palpable.
On Friday, some Iditarod mushers chose to push their teams before taking the mandatory break on the Yukon River.
“Everything has to come together just right,” the Bethel musher — and recent K-300 champ — said about his odds of winning Iditarod 2016.
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.
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.
A look at Western Alaska’s John Baker and Pete Kaiser midday Wednesday from the trail between Tanana and Ruby.