Tag Archives: mushing

2018 Iditarod

The Last Great Race started this past weekend, and leaders arrived in the village of Takotna (Mile 329) on Tuesday night. Many mushers, including Mitch Seavey, who was leading at the time, stopped here for their mandatory 24 hour rest.
Norwegian, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, gambled and flew through Ophir (Mile 352) at 4:52am on Wednesday. Ulsom is expected to take his 24 hour layover further on down the historic trail in Iditarod.

Trail temperature was at 32 degrees on Wednesday, which will slow down travel. Depending on what happens with the weather, Ulsom’s gamble may or may not pay off. It should be noted that the 31 year old musher from Norway has never finished outside of the Top 10, and his best finish was last year when he came in fourth.
The next check point for Ulsom is the trail’s namesake: the abandoned mining town of Iditarod. The first musher to enter Iditarod, the halfway point in the southern route, gets $3000 worth of gold nuggets. Ulsom, is still running a full team of 16 dogs.

A musher comes into the Nikolai checkpoint. Photo credit: Loren Holmes/ADN

Snowless Iditarod

An odd year here for the “Last Great Race”.

The Iditarod started this past weekend, as mushers and dog teams left Willow, AK on Sunday. Due to the lack of snow, there had been talk of changing the start of the race to Fairbanks, which is actually closer to the historical serum run that the race commemorates, but race officials decided to stick with the southern Willow Run.

Maybe, they should have come north:

2014 Iditarod Farewell Burn

With treacherous, snowless trail conditions, eleven of the sixty-nine mushers who started the race have already scratched. Another, has been withdrawn by race officials after an injury.

Scott Janssen, a 52 year old musher/undertaker from Anchorage , broke his ankle on a section of trail between Rohn and Nikolai. Known as the Mushing Mortician, Janssen said, “There’s a lot of heaven to be seen along the Iditarod route, but that part of the trail was all hell.”

2014 Iditarod Farewell Burn

Photos courtesy of AP/Anchorage Daily News