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.
At this point in the Iditarod, rest becomes a strategic calculation: both for the energy involved and the potential plans it discloses to other competitors.
Iditarod mushers are on the Yukon. 8- and 24-hour layovers are on the horizon, but first, they must run the longest stretch of the race: 120 miles from Tanana to Ruby.
In Fairbanks, 72 mushers hit the trail today, marking the start of competitive racing in Iditarod 45. The temperatures are expected to be frigid, the snow cover thick.
Pete Kaiser is the winner of the Kuskokwim 300 dog sled race for the third straight year; he crossed the finish line in his hometown of Bethel at 10:37am Sunday morning.
Friday night, 20 teams will depart from the Kuskokwim 300 starting line in Bethel, vying for the champion’s share of the largest K-300 purse to date: $150,000 in total.
The race from Bethel to Aniak and back starts at 6:30pm on January 20th.
The countdown is on for the start of the 2017 Iditarod Sled-dog race 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.