And that is by no means a criticism. She should be proud of finishing and proud of her time. It took 10 of the race's first 13 champions over 14 days to reach Nome in the '70s and early '80s. Granted, the winning times have been steadily increasing since then, likely attributable to improvements in gear and dog breeding, training, and care. There's also the benefit of musher experience, direct and indirect. You have the likes of DeeDee Jonrowe, finisher in 31 Iditarods, out on the trail, and dozens of newer mushers that can benefit from the veteran mushers' experience. At any rate, simply finishing the race is nothing to sneeze at.
The time it takes to run a dog team to Nome is also impacted by weather and trail conditions. Storms inevitably slow teams down, fair weather doesn't. And while snow barren trail is hard on mushers and sleds, it's fast for dog teams. And here's a little known but fairly logical fact when you think about it ~ the trail varies slightly from year to year given conditions, and the northern route (this year's) is generally considered a bit shorter than the southern. There's a great article on the Alaska Dispatch site that walks through all of these variables and talks about how hard it really is to compare each year's winners.
I also have to tip my hat to the 20 mushers that scratched this year. Most made it as far as Rohn, 188 brutal race miles this year. A couple officially got as far as White Mountain, 77 miles from the finish. And while I'm sure having to end their respective races early this year was a big disappointment, hopefully they soon appreciate just how much they really accomplished.
As for Anna and Kristy, I got the impression they're both happy with the race this year ~ happy more or less to have finished in one piece and happy it's over! I got to speak with each of the twins over the weekend, and while they were clearly still recombobulating from the race, they did have some things to share (a bit stream of consciousness, but that's how it was largely given to me)...