Iditarod – Alaska Public Media

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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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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).

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

Iditapod: Race day 3, and tricky mushing out of Rainy Pass

Posted at: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 21:23:06 +0000
Things get pretty technical for Iditarod mushers heading out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint and into the Dalzell Gorge before Rohn and Nikolai. Plus, we hear from animal-rights activist and documentary filmmaker Fern Levitt, and we get four-time Iditarod Jeff King's take on criticism of dog mushing.

Redington, Pettersson and Seavey first into Skwentna checkpoint

Posted at: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 00:44:58 +0000
From Anchorage the mushers restarted in Willow on Sunday. Then, every two minutes, they took off headed east to the first two checkpoints: Yentna and Skwentna. Listen now

Zoya DeNure scratches in Skwentna, first scratch of 2018 Iditarod

Posted at: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 23:03:25 +0000
The first musher to scratch in the 2018 Iditarod is Zoya DeNure of Delta Junction. Listen now

Iditapod: Race day 2, plus Rookie of the Year contenders

Posted at: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 18:15:39 +0000
In less than 24 hours, the Iditarod front-runners have made it to the Finger Lake checkpoint, 123 miles into the 1,000-mile race. But not before checking in at Yentna and Skwentna, the first two checkpoints after leaving Willow. And, even before that, KNOM's Davis Hovey caught up with two top candidates for Rookie of the Year: Two Rivers' Matt Hall and Nenana's Jessie Holmes.

Iditapod: Race clock ticking after Willow restart

Posted at: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 07:03:24 +0000
Mushers in the 2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are officially on course for the 1,000-mile trek to Nome after the restart in Willow. We take a rather, uh, unique question from a listener, and Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes does whatever it takes to get an interview.

Iditapod: Anchorage ceremonial start and the trail-side parties

Posted at: Sun, 04 Mar 2018 07:43:43 +0000
The 2018 Iditarod kicks off with the ceremonial start in Anchorage and an 11-mile jaunt through downtown and the city's trails, past race revelers that call themselves "trailgaters." We introduce KNOM News Director and trail reporter Davis Hovey, and hear from DeeDee Jonrowe, Nicolas Petit and some of the folks along the trail.

Jeff King on PETA and past Iditarod protests

Posted at: Sat, 03 Mar 2018 03:09:03 +0000
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA plans to protest the start of the race in Anchorage tomorrow morning. Former Iditarod champion Jeff King sat down with Lori Townsend recently to talk about the race, his career and his feelings about the animal rights activists who are against racing sled dogs. Listen now

Role reversal: Anchorage Iditarod prep means dumping snow on city streets

Posted at: Sat, 03 Mar 2018 03:00:31 +0000
Set up for Saturday's ceremonial Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race start in Anchorage means dumping thousands of pounds of snow on downtown streets. Listen now

Starting positions set for 2018 Iditarod; 67 mushers to depart from Willow on Sunday

Posted at: Sat, 03 Mar 2018 00:22:33 +0000
Cody Strathe of Fairbanks will be the first musher out on the trail for the start of the 2018 Iditarod sled dog race. Listen now

Iditapod: The season so far and a look ahead

Posted at: Fri, 02 Mar 2018 02:45:35 +0000
We talk about this year's Kuskokwim 300, touch on the importance of mid-distance mushing races leading up to the Iditarod and talk to KUAC-FM reporter Zoe Rom about covering the Yukon Quest, Alaska's other 1,000-mile sled dog race. Also: We talk about the Anchorage ceremonial start, who we expect to see running at the front of the pack and answer our first listener question!

Iditarod set to start under a cloud of scandals

Posted at: Thu, 01 Mar 2018 03:10:46 +0000
This year the Iditarod is mired in scandals: Fallout from a dog doping fiasco, a musher mutiny, and unprecedented pressure from protest groups. All of which, according to a leaked report, are putting the event’s future in dire jeopardy. Listen now

Iditapod: What the heck is happening?

Posted at: Sat, 24 Feb 2018 20:35:46 +0000
We look at three major problems hitting Alaska's mushing community ahead of the Iditarod. The Anchorage Daily News' Tegan Hanlon and Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes sit down with host Casey Grove to discuss the whirlwind of recent news, including a doping scandal, musher mutiny, and increasing pressure from animal rights groups.

Iditapod: A look back at the 2017 Iditarod

Posted at: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 23:03:16 +0000
In Episode 1, we take a look back at the 2017 Iditarod and hear some of the boots-on-the-ground perspective on Mitch Seavey's record-breaking speed, the physical toll on his son Dallas Seavey and more from our reporters on the trail: Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes and Ben Matheson, who was working for Nome radio station KNOM.

Seavey attorney: Report shows musher didn’t drug dogs

Posted at: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 02:51:29 +0000
An attorney for four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey released a toxicology report Wednesday that he says proves the musher did not drug his dogs in last year's race. Listen now

Iditarod mushers demand board president resignation, don’t get it

Posted at: Sat, 10 Feb 2018 02:56:39 +0000
The Iditarod Official Finisher's Club called for the immediate resignation of Iditarod Board President Andy Baker. The club's letter to the board said Baker has "jeopardized the integrity of our whole livelihood through his poor leadership." Listen now

Confidential report paints bleak picture for Iditarod

Posted at: Fri, 02 Feb 2018 03:23:04 +0000
The report was commissioned by a group of major sponsors after a series of controversies regarding policy changes and the handling of a doping scandal. Listen now

Iditarod to tighten race trail security, rewrite “gag rule”

Posted at: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 01:30:24 +0000
The Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) is taking steps to tighten security along the race route in the near future. Listen now

Can the Iditarod standardize kennel care?

Posted at: Tue, 05 Dec 2017 02:26:50 +0000
The Iditarod Trail Committee's Board of Directors wants to set up a kennel management program, a move aiming to set up new guidelines and counteract negative press directed at mushing's most high-profile event. Listen now

Iditarod committee names Dallas Seavey as musher whose sled dogs failed drug test

Posted at: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 01:10:13 +0000
After weeks of speculation over a top Iditarod contender doping sled-dogs, the race's governing body has announced the name of the musher. Four-time champion Dallas Seavey's team had four dogs that tested positive for the banned substance Tramadol, a pain-reliever, according a release from the Iditarod Trail Committee. Listen now

Iditarod names Joseph Redington, Jr. 2018 Honorary Musher

Posted at: Thu, 19 Oct 2017 01:21:06 +0000
The Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors has named Joseph “Joee” Redington, Jr. the 2018 Honorary Musher. Redington passed away in August and was the oldest son of Joseph Redington, Sr., often called the “Father of the Iditarod.” Listen now

The weird, wonderful world of Nome after Iditarod

Posted at: Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:19:24 +0000
For nearly a week, racers continue arriving ahead of the banquet that officially concludes each year's Iditarod. For some, that means days of free time. And plenty of fun, strange events to fill it. Listen now

Iditapod: Wrapping up the 2017 Iditarod

Posted at: Sat, 25 Mar 2017 16:51:37 +0000
In this episode, we talk about the 2017 Iditarod, what happens after the mushers reach Nome, and the person behind the @IditaTrump Twitter account.

Nome Finishers’ Banquet marks end of Iditarod 45

Posted at: Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:22:44 +0000
The 2017 Iditarod Sled Dog Race is over. The 45th running, rerouted from Fairbanks to Nome, came to an end Sunday night with the Finishers’ Banquet held at the Nome Rec Center. Listen now

Iditapod: A deep dive into Mitch Seavey’s record-setting run

Posted at: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 17:56:35 +0000
In Episode 16, we talk about the Iditarod's top-20, and take a deep dive into the strategy behind Mitch Seavey's record-breaking run.

Top ten mushers finish in Nome

Posted at: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 00:56:44 +0000
The top ten teams have arrived in Nome, filling out the upper ranks of the 2017 Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Listen now

Mitch Seavey leads Iditarod to Nome – and says he’s not done yet

Posted at: Wed, 15 Mar 2017 18:26:27 +0000
Iditarod musher Mitch Seavey won the 2017 race in record time Tuesday afternoon. The Seward musher’s team ran a blistering pace from Fairbanks along winding rivers, tundra and sea ice to Nome. But the veteran musher is looking forward to achieving new levels of dog team performance in the peak of his career. Listen now

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