Fairbanks musher is Iditarod rookie of year

HEADING EAST: After finishing 30th, Lindner is going to Boston to be an associate at a law firm.

March 20, 2009 

Rookie of the year Chad Lindner of Fairbanks earned $1,800 for his 30th-place finish in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 12-day effort that paid him about $6 an hour.

Expect the son of Iditarod veteran Sonny Lindner to soon be earning considerably more.

Chad Lindner 30, a graduate of Reed College and the University of Michigan law school, plans to head to Boston after the race to work as an associate for the law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge.

"I'll be working for the man," he said in Rainy Pass.

Asked how a musher's son becomes a lawyer, he replied: "I think it'd be more unusual for a lawyer's son to become a musher.

"I'm just doing this to say I did the Iditarod Trail. It's a one-time deal. I was in the position where I'd be stupid not to run the Iditarod."

Growing up, Lindner was into books and video games more than mushing while attending Colony High.

Helping his dad train for the 1998 and 1999 races sparked his interest.

But he's sure he's a "one-and-done" musher after completing the 1,000-mile journey in 12 days, 4 hours, 22 minutes.

And perhaps that's the right choice. Only once in the 37-year history of the Iditarod has a rookie finished lower than 30th; in 1993, Jason Barron and Keizo Funatsu tied for 34th.

"I'm about to be a city boy," Lindner said -- and, most likely, a city boy who will be wealthier than most Iditarod mushers.

Lindner's finish gave three different families two members apiece in the Top 30.

• Mitch Seavey (fourth) and son Dallas Seavey (sixth) of Sterling topped the family finishers, earning a total of $108,900.

• Cim Smyth (fifth) Big Lake and brother Ramey Smyth (ninth) of Willow combined for $96,400. It was the first time Cim has finished in the top 10. Ramey was third last year.

• Sonny Lindner (11th) and Chad Lindner (30th) of Fairbanks totaled $38,400. It was only the second time since 1985 that Sonny, 59, had finished in the top 11. His rookie race came back in 1978, just the sixth Iditarod.

Toast on the coast

While some mushers who live and train on the Bering Sea coast prospered in the brutal wind and sub-zero cold of this year's race, it wasn't universal.

Veteran Ed Iten of Kotzebue and Melissa Owens of Nome both had to scratch in Elm, less than 100 miles from the finish line.

This was Iten's first scratch in 11 Iditarods dating back to 1992. Before last year's 17-place finish, the 55-year-old had compiled a streak of five consecutive top-10 finishes.

Owens, who was among the race leaders in the first 200 miles of the 1,000-mile marathon, had dropped out of the top 30 before scratching.

Last year, she became the first woman from Nome to finish the Iditarod when she placed 30th. Her run down Front Street for 30th place was cheered by nearly as many as fans as welcomed Lance Mackey upon his victory.

Also scratching Saturday were David Sawatzky and Aaron Peck.

10 more finish

Allen Moore pulled onto Nome at the stroke of midnight Friday to lead a parade of Saturday finishers.

With 11 dogs in harness, the musher from Two Rivers claimed 33rd place for the run that took him 12 days and 10 hours.

More than three hours later, Robert Bundtzen and Jim Lanier treated early-morning fans to a sprint finish. Buntzen came in at 3:24 a.m., just five seconds ahead of Lanier.

Saturday finishers with arrival times

33) Allen Moore, midnight; 34) Robert Bundzen 3:24:30 a.m.; 35) Jim Lanier 3:24:35 a.m.; 36) Ryan Redington 4:27 a.m.; 37) Harry Alexie Jr. 4:40 a.m.; 38) Bill Cotter 6:12 a.m.; 39) Rick Larson 8:30 a.m.; 40) Karin Hendrickson 8:31 a.m.; 41) Cindy Gallea 9:15 a.m.; 42) Mike Williams 2:17 p.m.

Still on the trail

Jen Seavey, Tom Thurston, Wade Marrs, Tim Osmar, Rachael Scdoris, Eric Rogers, Heather Siirtola, Michael Suprenant, Trent Herbst, Timothy Hunt, Alan Peck.

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