Iditarod – Alaska Public Media

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Bethel gives hero’s welcome to Iditarod champion Pete Kaiser

Posted at: Wed, 20 Mar 2019 21:12:56 +0000

Bethel welcomed home its own Iditarod champion in grand fashion Monday night. Musher Pete Kaiser returned to Bethel on the evening jet after winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

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Iditapod: A new trio of elite women mushers

Posted at: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 21:37:46 +0000

It happened, because Paige Drobny made it happen: The top 10 of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race includes three women for the first time ever. Fans of Drobny, Aliy Zirkle and Jessie Royer are ecstatic, as are some Bethel residents who were cheering on 2019 Iditarod champion Pete Kaiser. We hear from them in this episode, plus a lightning round of questions and... a couple special guests!

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Pete Kaiser fans in Bethel celebrate hometown musher’s victory

Posted at: Thu, 14 Mar 2019 18:01:12 +0000

If you heard a roar early Wednesday morning, it likely came from Pete Kaiser fans cheering across Alaska.

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Iditapod: Kaiser Racing team hangs on for first Iditarod win

Posted at: Wed, 13 Mar 2019 22:41:00 +0000

That’s right: Iditarod has a new champion. And it’s really looking like we’re going to have three women in the top 10 for the first time in 47 years for the Last Great Race. As for the pride and swelling hearts of Bethel, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, maybe all of Western Alaska, Peter Kaiser and eight dogs crossed under the Burled Arch in Nome at 3:39 a.m. Alaska time Wednesday trailed only 12 minutes later by the 2018 champ, Joar Leifseth Ulsom.

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Breaking: Bethel’s Pete Kaiser wins 2019 Iditarod

Posted at: Wed, 13 Mar 2019 14:51:07 +0000

A new Iditarod champion has been crowned. Bethel musher Pete Kaiser’s team of 8 dogs crossed under the Burled Arch in Nome at 3:39 a.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2019. A boisterous crowd of friends and family from the Bethel area traveled to Nome to celebrate Kaiser’s victory. The 31-year-old wins $50,000 and a new truck. It’s a career highlight for Kaiser, who has raced the iditarod each year since 2010. On three separate occasions he’s placed as high as 5th, but this is his first win. His run took 9 days 12 hours and 39 minutes.

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Iditapod: Kaiser poised for first Iditarod win

Posted at: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 22:24:43 +0000

Heading into a final, mandatory, eight-hour rest in White Mountain about 40 minutes in the lead, Bethel's Peter Kaiser could be set up to win his first Iditarod in his team's 10th race. But anything can happen in that final 77 miles, and the defending champ, Joar Leifseth Ulsom, is not far behind. We also talk to some former champs about how they're in the middle of the pack and running a totally different kind of race. Plus: There's no sea ice! But there is Snack Attack with Ben and Zach!

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Kaiser first into White Mountain with Ulsom hot on his heels

Posted at: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 17:39:28 +0000

At the front of the 2019 Iditarod, Bethel musher Pete Kaiser and his dog team arrived in White Mountain this morning. Kaiser must continue to hold off the defending champion -- Joar Leifseth Ulsom -- to secure his first Iditarod victory.

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Iditapod: Heartbreak for Petit as team quits on the coast

Posted at: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 23:44:30 +0000

The team of Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit stalled on the edge of Norton Bay, allowing Bethel's Pete Kaiser to race past, as well as several others. Petit had been leading for most of the race, and Monday afternoon, it was still uncertain if he'd even finish. We hear from Petit, and we hear from Kaiser who now might be set up to win his first Iditarod. That, plus explanations of Mushergrams, Teacher on the Trail and... whatever happened to Pilot Rob?

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Breaking: Team Petit stalls in Iditarod, Kaiser seizes lead

Posted at: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 19:32:01 +0000

Monday morning saw a huge lead change in the 2019 Iditarod, as the team of Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit stalled on the coast, allowing Bethel’s Pete Kaiser to move into first place. At least three others have also passed Petit.

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Iditapod: Big push to the coast

Posted at: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 05:24:24 +0000

Girdwood's Nicolas Petit stayed in the lead of the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday after making a long 90ish-mile run from Kaltag to Unalakleet overnight. We hear from a couple Yukon-Kuskokwim-area rookies in this year's race, and a couple YK-area parents with kids in the Iditarod. Plus, a question about climate change and a conversation with Iditarod musher Kristin Knight Pace, who has a book out called "This Much Country."

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Iditapod: Making it to the Yukon River

Posted at: Fri, 08 Mar 2019 20:29:47 +0000

Top teams in the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are reaching the Yukon River on Friday as the race enters its fifth day, with snow and more warm temperatures in the forecast. Girdwood's Nicolas Petit and Norwegian-by-way-of-Willow musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom have continued to leapfrog each other, with Nic winning a five-course meal in Anvik. We hear more about the different strategies as they came into focus earlier in the race and take a listener question about team positions for dogs.

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Zirkle first to Iditarod checkpoint as trailing front-pack mushers come off of Takotna 24s

Posted at: Thu, 07 Mar 2019 20:08:09 +0000

A little before 8 p.m. last night, Iditarod mushers started to come off their 24-hour mandatory rests.

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Zirkle takes Iditarod lead out of Ophir as top teams coordinate rests

Posted at: Wed, 06 Mar 2019 18:55:28 +0000

A trio of Iditarod teams declared their 24-hour rests immediately on pulling into Tokotna Tuesday night.

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Iditarod mushers react to rules reducing max dog team size from 16 to 14

Posted at: Tue, 05 Mar 2019 23:58:10 +0000

Iditarod mushers racing their dogs to Nome this year are doing it with a smaller team on the gangline. The race reduced the maximum team size from 16 to 14. This means quite a bit for race strategies, speeds and the trade-offs that mushers face as they travel across Alaska.

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Musher Mike Williams Jr. spending this Iditarod at home with family and dogs

Posted at: Tue, 05 Mar 2019 21:11:38 +0000

The Iditarod restart kicked off Sunday afternoon in Willow. A notable Western Alaska musher will be absent from the pack.

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This year, about one in five Iditarod mushers is new to the race

Posted at: Tue, 05 Mar 2019 02:56:52 +0000

In addition to the field’s hyper-competitive slate of five past champions, nearly one in five Iditarod mushers this year is new to the race.

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Photos: Iditarod 2019

Posted at: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 20:35:36 +0000

The 47th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began Sunday, with 52 dog teams speeding out of Willow along for the 1,000-mile trail to Nome.

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Iditapod: The first 100 miles

Posted at: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 19:40:50 +0000

We check in from the trail, where mushers covered the first 100-plus miles from the Willow restart Sunday to the first checkpoints, Yentna and Skwentna, and on to Finger Lake. Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes talked to mushers at Skwentna overnight, and we take a listener question on sled design. Also, today's episode features an extended interview with Ester musher Paige Drobny, an Iditarod veteran and one of a record field of female mushers.

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Iditapod: Clock ticking after Willow restart

Posted at: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 19:35:04 +0000

Fifty-two mushers headed out of Willow as the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began in earnest Sunday, March 3. Iditapod host Casey Grove is joined by KNOM's Ben Matheson and Braver Mountain Mushing's Quince Mountain for discussions of the restart, early-race strategy and some of the numbers of the Iditarod, including that this year's race features the highest-ever percentage of female mushers.

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Iditapod: The ceremonial start

Posted at: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 19:32:19 +0000

We talk about why the Ceremonial Start in downtown Anchorage is a thing, hear what mushers are talking about this year, and visit with the Trailgaters. It's the last time anyone gets to catch their breath before the real start of the race. And maybe catch a few hotdogs, too

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Iditapod: This year’s race

Posted at: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 19:27:07 +0000

We talk about trail conditions, which teams look like contenders for the Top 10, our Rookie Of The Year Picks, and the best ways to follow the race. Also, a quick intro to our team on the trail.

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‘Incredibly competitive’ as mushers begin 47th running of the Iditarod

Posted at: Mon, 04 Mar 2019 18:07:54 +0000

The 47th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is underway. 52 dog teams sped out of Willow Sunday afternoon for the 1000-mile race to Nome. 

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2019 Yukon Quest champ Sass talks about return to elite dog mushing — and Iditarod

Posted at: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 03:27:06 +0000

He's sitting out this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race -- that starts March 2 in Anchorage -- but Eureka musher Brent Sass just won the Yukon Quest again, after taking a year off from racing. Sass is a former Iditarod Rookie of the Year, and though he's struggled in a couple other attempts at that race, he said his young dog team will likely be ready for an Iditarod run next year.

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Iditapod: Iditarod pre-season and a chat with the Yukon Quest champ

Posted at: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 00:46:22 +0000

We take a quick look back at competitive mid-distance sled dog races that many Iditarod mushers use as qualifier or tune-up races. And though he’s not in Iditarod this year, we talk to Yukon Quest champion Brent Sass about that race, his plans to return to Iditarod next year and who he thinks could win […]

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Why a wilderness lodge in the middle of nowhere became a magnet for mushers

Posted at: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 01:36:09 +0000

Along one of the most remote stretches of the state's road system is a wilderness lodge that's become thoroughly popular with elite dog-mushers.

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Iditapod: An abridged history of Alaska dog mushing and 2018 Iditarod

Posted at: Tue, 19 Feb 2019 20:37:01 +0000

Ramping up our 2019 Iditarod coverage, we look back at the history of dog mushing in Alaska, the dawn of long-distance racing and... yes, we talk a little about last year's race.

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At 2018 Finisher’s Banquet, tales from a difficult Iditarod

Posted at: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 00:03:15 +0000

The 2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has come to an end, as 52 out of the original 67 mushers have crossed the finish line in Nome. Listen now

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Iditapod: Wrapping up from Nome

Posted at: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 22:35:24 +0000

Alaska Public Media's reporter on the Iditarod Trail, Zachariah Hughes, talks from Nome about the scene there as race finishers mush into town, and KNOM interviews with third-place finisher Mitch Seavey shed some light on his race, including a tough trail along the Bering Sea coast and becoming better friends with Joar Leifseth Ulsom (the new champ!) and runner-up Nicolas Petit. Plus, we go rapid-fire with questions about how fast the dogs run, trail mail and the Burled Arch.

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Dog dies at Koyuk checkpoint

Posted at: Thu, 15 Mar 2018 21:51:07 +0000

A dog has died at a checkpoint along the Iditarod trail. Listen now

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Iditapod: A new Norwegian champ, and the runner-up reflects

Posted at: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 18:46:01 +0000

The Iditarod has crowned a new Norwegian champion: Joar Leifseth Ulsom. The 31-year-old pulled under Nome’s Burled Arch at 3 a.m. Wednesday with eight dogs in harness to claim his first championship, taking the win in Iditarod 46. Ulsom is the first Norwegian musher to win the thousand-mile sled dog race since Robert Sørlie in 2005. Girdwood's Nicolas Petit arrived a little over two hours later, and he spoke to reporters about how his race went and where it went wrong.

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New Norwegian champ, Joar Ulsom wins 2018 Iditarod

Posted at: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 11:20:17 +0000

The 31-year-old Norwegian is the first musher to disrupt the Seavey dynasty, in a grueling race that has dragged on longer than recent years. Listen now

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Iditarod checkpoint enforces ordinance to control loose dog population as mushers arrive

Posted at: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 23:35:16 +0000

Coinciding with the Iditarod sled dog race, Unalakleet issued an emergency ordinance to address loose dogs running free around the community. Many residents complained about a problem, and not everyone is happy with the solution.

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Iditapod: The ol’ Norwegian switcheroo, and the old guard passes the mantle

Posted at: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 18:18:20 +0000

There was a major shakeup at the front of the 2018 Iditarod on Monday, when Joar Leifseth Ulsom slipped past previous leader Nicolas Petit while Petit lost the trail on the Bering Sea coast between Shaktoolik and Koyuk. The table is now set for Ulsom, first to White Mountain and only 77 miles from the finish in Nome, to win his first Iditarod championship and the first for a Norwegian -- or anybody else not originally from the U.S. -- since 2005. But, as we hear in this episode, a lead and a long rest at White Mountain hasn't always translated to a win. Meantime, many of mushing's old guard are happy to pass the mantle to the next generation of elite mushers (not including defending champ Mitch Seavey, still mushing near the front in third place).

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Old guard content to watch new generation of mushers take reins of sport

Posted at: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 17:58:26 +0000

Currently, the top of the Iditarod leader-board is filled out with younger mushers, most of them in their 20s and 30s — the race’s up-and-comers. Many esteemed members of mushing’s old guard are content to watch a new generation inherit the mantel. Listen now

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Petit lead disappears as Ulsom overtakes on coast

Posted at: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 01:49:47 +0000

There's been a shakeup along the Iditarod trail. Bad weather along the coast earlier today hampered the race's front runners. Listen now

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Petit first out of Unalakleet with Ulsom and Seavey behind

Posted at: Mon, 12 Mar 2018 18:23:10 +0000

The three mushers leading this year’s Iditarod pack passed through Unalakleet yesterday afternoon. The racers arrived in very differing shape, offering signs of what could be ahead in the last stretch toward Nome.

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Iditapod: Up the coast, DeeDee in UNK and oh snaps! Plus, Dallas Seavey in Norway

Posted at: Mon, 12 Mar 2018 17:37:35 +0000

It's Monday and the frontrunners in the 2018 Iditarod are on the Bering Sea coast, venturing out on a trail over sea ice from Shaktoolik to Koyuk. Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes caught up with the top three -- Nicolas Petit, Mitch Seavey, Joar Leifseth Ulsom -- in Unalakleet on Sunday, as well as the legendary musher DeeDee Jonrowe, who scratched earlier in what she says was her last Iditarod after 36 total starts. We also hear from a Norwegian mushing reporter on four-time Iditarod champ Dallas Seavey's foray into the Finnmarksløpet, Europe's longest sled dog race.

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Iditapod: Petit leads, but how did we get here? Plus: Fantasy mushing..?!

Posted at: Sun, 11 Mar 2018 20:41:42 +0000

As Girdwood's Nicolas Petit, Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom and defending champ Mitch Seavey lead a chase pack to Unalakleet and the Bering Sea coast, we talk to Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes about how the 2018 Iditarod shaped up like this and how that chase pack got so bunched up. Also on today's Iditapod, we have a report from KCAW's Katherine Rose about a way for Iditarod fans around the world to get connected to the race: fantasy mushing.

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Iditapod: Scramble in Anvik, slog up the Yukon and Takotna survives on pies

Posted at: Sat, 10 Mar 2018 21:01:31 +0000

With the Iditarod leaders on the mighty Yukon River and through the village checkpoint of Grayling, we hear about how weather prevented flying supplies to Eagle Island and caused the checkpoint to be downgraded to a mere "hospitality stop." That's why mushers scrambled to get mandatory rest in earlier and why they had to load up on supplies before one of the most formidable overnight trips of the race. Plus, back in Takotna, the village reflects on why it's been so steady as a checkpoint over the years, and we hear from KYUK's Johanna Eurich about what it used to be like covering the Last Great Race.

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Musher chases bison off trail, with an ax

Posted at: Fri, 09 Mar 2018 22:42:08 +0000

Wildlife are a common occurrence on the Iditarod trail, and they sometimes have chance encounters with mushers. Now, in this year’s Iditarod, one more musher can say they’ve come across bison along the trail.
Listen now

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As Iditarod has changed, so has its relationship with its Native roots, mushers say

Posted at: Fri, 09 Mar 2018 22:36:50 +0000

Fewer than ten mushers out of the 67 competing in this year’s Iditarod are Alaska Native. The only Inupiaq musher to win the Iditarod, John Baker of Kotzebue, is not racing this year, so it now falls to other competitors to bring home the championship. Listen now

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Petit out front: Iditarod leaders swap positions as race pivots to the Yukon

Posted at: Fri, 09 Mar 2018 22:28:39 +0000

This year's Iditarod has hit what could prove the defining moment in who wins the race. Joar Ulsom pushed his 24-hour rest all the way to the Iditarod checkpoint, arriving Wednesday evening while his main competitors were posted up in towns further down the trail.

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Iditapod: First to the Yukon, Alaska Native mushers and a bison encounter

Posted at: Fri, 09 Mar 2018 19:01:03 +0000

Friday morning saw Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit charge ahead leading the 2018 Iditarod to Anvik after passing teams resting in the ghost town checkpoint of Iditarod. As the first to reach the Yukon River, Petit is treated to a five-course meal. The main course is bison, which is an animal Whitehorse's Marcelle Fressineau encountered very much alive and not on a dinner plate farther back on the trail. We talk to Fressineau about how she fended off the bison with an axe, as well as some of the Alaska Native mushers in the race.

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Iditapod: Leaders into Iditarod, where to 24 and snack attack returns!

Posted at: Thu, 08 Mar 2018 18:40:12 +0000

As Iditarod mushers decide when and where to take their mandatory 24-hour layovers, the leaders are in to the ghost town of Iditarod. And our trail reporters are breaking into their snack packs! Also, we hear from a Takotna elder about the moose he shot and fed at the village checkpoint.

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Iditapod: An icon drops out, 24-hour rests and dog-doping reignites

Posted at: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:34:24 +0000

A lot has happened since the last podcast: Willow musher DeeDee Jonrowe has scratched in her 36th Iditarod, which she said would be her last. Meantime, front-of-the-pack mushers are taking their 24-hour layovers, so this is a good time to talk about how times are adjusted to correct from the staggered, every-two-minute race starts. Plus: More off-trail drama related to dogs and drugs! Sheesh! We talk to a fellow Iditarod reporter about what has been described as a confrontational encounter between the race's head toxicologist and a musher right before the official start on Sunday.

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Seavey reaches Takotna first, declares 24-hour layover

Posted at: Wed, 07 Mar 2018 22:19:04 +0000

A small crowd gathered next to burning logs and a large welcome banner as Mitch Seavey arrived first to Takotna checkpoint in a light snow Tuesday night. Listen now

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Some mushers deck out in “full body armor” to tackle Dalzell Gorge

Posted at: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:45:50 +0000

Even years later, the infamous 2014 conditions along the Dalzell Gorge stretch has left a lasting impression on mushers – one that they bring specialty gear for. Listen now

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DeeDee Jonrowe second musher to scratch in 2018 Iditarod

Posted at: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:33:35 +0000

Willow musher DeeDee Jonrowe has scratched from the 2018 Iditarod. Listen now

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Snowier year makes for smoother run to Nikolai

Posted at: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 23:29:53 +0000

It’s one of the snowiest years in recent memory along a notoriously bare stretch of the Iditarod trail. In recent years, low-snow and a bald, icy trail conditions have made for a perilous run down the Dalzell Gorge through Rohn and across the Farwell Burn on the way to the village of Nikolai. Listen now

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