Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad are the 2022 Iron Dog champions. The two never gave up the lead after pulling ahead in the early hours of the race, and finally crossed the finish line in Big Lake at 11:21 a.m. on Feb. 26.
Mike Morgan of Nome and Chris Olds finished in second place, at 1:16 p.m. Shane Barber and Troy Conlon finished third, at 1:50 p.m. Brad George and Robby Schachle took fourth, finishing at 2:22 p.m., and Tom Davis and Zack Weisz rounded out the top five, crossing the finish line at 2:56 p.m.
As for the other Nome-based racers, Jarvis and Jordan Miller finished seventh at 3:23 p.m., and Evan and Steffen Booth came in 11th, finishing their race at 4:22 p.m.
Altogether, 16 of the original 28 teams finished the 2022 race. According to an Iron Dog press release, this year saw some unusually tough conditions for racers. “I would say it’s probably the roughest of all the Iron Dog races. … It wasn’t super brutal, but there was never a break,” racer Chris Olds said in an interview at the finish line.
Tyler Aklestad also said it was the roughest Iron Dog he’d done, and Nick Olstad joked that “everywhere that should be smooth was not.”
Despite the rough trail, Aklestad and Olstad managed to completely avoid any mechanical issues or injuries.
“We had some luck on our side and a lot of preparation, and it paid off,” Aklestad said.
As the winners, Aklstad and Olstad took home $45,000, with another $35,000 going to Morgan and Olds in second, and $25,000 to Barber and Conlon in third.
Image at top: Iron Dog 2022 champions Tyler Aklestad (left) and Nick Olstad (right) celebrate their win at the Iron Dog ceremonial finish in Wasilla. Photo by Erin Aklestad. Used with permission of Iron Dog 2022.