Magnus spent 12 days 20 hours 13 minutes and 14 seconds traveling the 998 race miles to Nome. He arrived with 13 dogs in harness. Although technically not a rookie, Magnus was no seasoned vet, having run the Iditarod only once before, completing the event back in 2011.
A total of 15 mushers ended up scratching from this year's contest, or 22.4% of the field. That is slightly higher than the race's average since inception of 21%, and a good deal higher than the 19.5% scratch rate average since 2000. That is a testament to the challenges of this year's trail, predominantly the large amount of snow. Then again, 29% of the field scratched in 2014, when the lack of snow left teams pounding across frozen tundra, beaten and battered. I guess Goldilocks was on to something with that whole happy medium thing.
At least a couple of the teams to scratch late in this year's race, Jim Lanier and friend Scott Janssen among them, encountered severe winds of up to 75mph and icy trail out of White Mountain in the infamous Blowhole. Tangles with large piles of drift wood and each other, in frigid temps and the high winds, forced them to call it quits. I certainly feel for these teams, and anyone that had to scratch from this year's race. But I hope they take comfort in the fact that they not only qualified for the event to begin with, but tackled good portions of trail. They were part of something that only a few thousand people can claim to have ever successfully finished. That is an accomplishment in it's own right.
The Seeing Double teams in Nome are preparing to fly their dogs back to Anchorage, where DDC Jack will be waiting to get everyone back to the kennel. They will all attend Sunday's finisher's banquet and then catch flights home themselves.
And here's to the amazing dogs that ran any portion of trail this year, let alone the full 998 miles. Let's stop and dish out some serious atta'boys (and girls) to...
Andy's team! Finishing dogs include Uno, Skorpan, Berzerker, Bogus, Beccaroo, Bison, Jandall, Forest, Moses, and Ruger. Sorry again that I didn't get photos of Andy's team. The awesome dogs that got part way include Shark, Kavic, Oklahoma, Natchiq, Hammer and Razor. They're all back at the kennel awaiting their friends from the trail.
Anna's team! Finishing dogs include Kiwi, West, Beaker, Hale, Cannonball, Sweetums, Pilgrim, Quintes, Tornado, and Rizo. The dogs back at the kennel but who helped make it possible: Little Bit, Bob Barker, Timmy, RT, Ruby, and John.
Kristy's team! Finishing dogs include Haley, Jack, Serac, Gutten, Pace, Susintna, Bootleg, Bulliet, Wallace, and Colt. And it wouldn't be right to not include Blowhole, Duramax, Beatris, Foxtrot, Pop, and Henry, all running a good portion if not the majority of the trail before having to bow-wow out. They're all chillin' back at the kennel, and we'll hear from many again next year.
I bid you adieu. Or a don't! I hand the trail back to you... Make it yours, just keep on mushin'.
XOXO, The Mad Blogger