Mike Morgan of Nome and teammate Chris Olds finished among the top three in this year’s Iron Dog for the fourth consecutive year.
“We won it twice together in 18’ and 19’, and we got second last year.”– Mike Morgan
That’s veteran Mike Morgan of Nome speaking to KNOM during a layover in his hometown. This was his twelfth Iron Dog; prior to that he had eight top five finishes and two back-to-back championships for 2018 and 2019. Morgan raced this year with his teammate and a person whom he considers a brother, Chris Olds. With Iron Dog accolades taken into consideration, Olds casts quite the shadow over Morgan.
“I won in 2010, 11’, and 2018 and 19’.”– Chris Olds
“So you’re no novice to what’s going on?”– KNOM
“No.”– Chris Olds
Among those four championships, he has 17 top-ten finishes in the Iron Dog. While reflecting on his racing career, Olds acknowledges that most of his time competing with a teammate has been spent with Morgan.
“The last half of my career I’ve raced with Mike, and the first half of my career I had five different partners…”– Chris Olds
“It’s a beautiful thing when you meet somebody…”– KNOM
“Yeah, plus you know what to expect. I mean that at the end of the day we know…”– Chris Olds
“You learn more and more together every year.”– Mike Morgan
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the 2021 Iron Dog race followed a similar route to last year’s trail of over 2,600 miles. Morgan and Olds were again able to compete as teammates this year in what was not a usual Iron Dog.
“This year is a little bit different. Our layovers are a little bit different because of COVID, we don’t have airplane support.”– Chris Olds
Olds refers to the type of airplane support where pilots meet racers at checkpoints to supply them with parts needed for machine repair or maintenance. Without planes making parts readily available along the course, racers had to adapt as they weighed risk and reward of pushing their machines.
“The goal is to just keep our sleds clean. Take it a little bit easier to get all the way to the finish line.”– Chris Olds
Nonetheless team #10, Olds and Morgan, placed third in this year’s Iron Dog, joining the top finishers at the podium in Big Lake and charting yet another milestone for this duo.
“So, Mike, with you being from around here, and listeners listening in that are local is there anything that you would like to say to anybody cheering for you?”– KNOM
“Just thank the whole community for coming out here. You know it’s a beautiful day, so thanks everybody for coming out and supporting us. I’m glad we could still have the race this year despite the stuff that is going on. Thank you guys as well.– Mike Morgan
Image at top: Team #10, Chris Olds and Mike Morgan, on their snow machines during Iron Dog race, 2021. Photo by Kevin Fox, KNOM.