Twice a runner-up in the last three years, Mark Iverson of Anchorage on Sunday locked down his first victory in the biggest race in the Tour of Anchorage -- he's the 50-kilometer freestyle king.
Iverson, 29, beat defending champion Dylan Watts by about eight seconds to seize the race from Service High to Kincaid Park and capture the most prestigious title in one of the country's biggest ski races.
According to preliminary race results, more than 1,600 skiers finished the combined eight events of the Tour -- 50-K freestyle for both genders, 40-K freestyle for both, and 25-K for both in freestyle and classic techniques.
Iverson clocked 2 hours, 9 minutes, 41.8 seconds to top Watts (2:09:49.5) and third-place finisher Brent Knight (2:10:49.9).
Iverson last year finished about 25 seconds behind Watts and in 2009 was runner-up to Olympian James Southam, trailing by about 80 seconds.
Greta Anderson, 20, of Anchorage, captured the women's 50-K in 2:46:59.2 to beat former Olympic biathlete Rachel Steer by about 21 seconds.
In the 40-K, Abe Meyerhofer, 18, of Wasilla clocked 1:54:46 to win comfortably in the men's division. Likewise, Megan Spurkland, 32, of Homer, won the women's division handily in 2:05:33.6.
Anchorage teenagers swept the 25-K freestyle races, which went from Alaska Pacific University to Kincaid. Sara Falconer, 18, won the women's race in 1:23:16.3 and Troy Walters, 16, of Anchorage, clocked 1:14:04.4 to edge Will Timmons, 16, of Eagle River, by two seconds. Kevin Donley, 46, of Anchorage, finished just three seconds behind Walters.
Toni Sparrow, 47, of Anchorage, took the 25-K women's classic event in 1:43:23. The men's winner was Henry Loeffler, 56, of Anchorage, who clocked 1:27:48.
For results, check www.tourofanchorage.com