DOGS, MUSHERS, TRAIL ... ACTION!
FILMMAKER'S DOCUMENTARY CAPTURES HIGHS, LOWS OF RUNNING THE IDITAROD
(Includes video clips)
About 1 oclock in the morning, Mike Nosko emerges from the
darkened Iditarod Trail, a frost-stiffened, down-coated wilderness
traveler. He guides his sled dogs to a halt, and as camera lights
find his face, an Iditarod checkpoint volunteer asks his name. ...
The scene is one of the best in a new documentary film, Iditarod
A Far Distant Place by Alice Dungan Bouvrie,
to premiere in Alaska on Wednesday at the Anchorage Museum of History
and Art. [more]
BROOKS DRAWS STRENGTH FROM WINS AND LOSSES
HEALY - The bobbing headlamp on the horizon haunted Ramy Brooks
as he tended to his resting dogs on the lake beyond Carmacks, Yukon
Mark May was coming fast. Too fast. Brooks felt a numbness and it
was not from the cold afternoon. He could see the championship of
the 1999 Yukon Quest slipping away, and he didn't have the will
to fight it.
Weary, accepting, he was broken. Glumly, he thought, "He's moving
faster and it looks like there's nothing I can do about this."[more]
TROPHY HONORS REDINGTON
95-POUND CHAMPION'S PRIZE REMEMBERS 'FATHER OF THE IDITAROD'
The winner of the 28th annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will
need to do more than make space on the mantel for the new Joe Redington
Sr. Trophy. Maybe clearing the entire dining room table will do
A trophy that will help serve as a reminder for all the contributions
that Redington, the father of the Iditarod, made to the 1,100-mile
race from Anchorage to Nome was delivered to Bovey Trophies in Anchorage
on Monday and uncrated in front of a coterie of onlookers at the
REDINGTON RALLIES FOR JUNIOR IDITAROD CROWN
Ryan Redington became Ryan the Rallier to win the Junior Iditarod
sled dog race for the second straight year.
Redington triumphed Sunday in the 150-mile round-trip race from
Settler's Bay Golf Course in Wasilla to Yentna Station after trailing
eventual runner-up Tyler Seavey and third-place musher Jennifer
MUSHER'S DREAM SURVIVES
BALTIMORE'S DENT BACK AFTER MAULING IN '99 IDITAROD
The nightmare of the mauling Dan Dent suffered at the hands
of his dog team early in the 1999 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is
largely a memory now.
His physical scars have healed, and the musher from Baltimore believes
he has put the mental ones behind him, too, after a smooth run through
the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race last month.
Still, his voice betrays a touch of nervousness when asked about
his biggest worry going into his second attempt at the 1,100-mile
wilderness trail between Anchorage and Nome. [more]
IDITAROD DREAMS DISPLACE HEALTH WORRIES OF AIDS PATIENT
Out on the trail, musher Chuck King finds peace. The hissing
of the runners, the panting of the dogs, the beauty of the north.
It's his only escape. For a few precious hours, there's no pain.
No fear. No AIDS.
"I actually get through four hours sometimes and forget I'm sick,"
King, a former pulmonary trauma surgeon, has lived with the disease
since 1992. Whenever he's running dogs, he can ignore the aches
in his limbs and joints, the nausea, the fatigue, the migraines.
ALASKAN TAKES TITLE IN QUEST
ZIRKLE IS FIRST WOMAN TO WIN 1,000-MILE RACE
Fifteen years after Libby Riddles brought an international spotlight
to Alaska by battling through a raging Bering Sea storm to become
the first woman to win a major, long-distance sled dog race, 30-year-old
Aliy Zirkle has mimicked the feat in the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest
International Sled Dog Race.
BARRON DEFENDS TITLE
WILLOW MUSHER WINS BEARGREASE; GATT WINS STAGE STOP
A pair of Iditarod veterans mushed to victories Wednesday in the
John Barron of Willow claimed his second straight John Beargrease
Sled Dog Marathon in Minnesota on Wednesday, while Hans Gatt of
Atlin, British Columbia, won the International Rocky Mountain Stage
Stop Sled Dog Race in Wyoming for the third time in four years.
IDITAROD FINISH LINE AWAITS REPLACEMENT OF FAMED
A replacement for the Iditarod's famous burled arch is making a
journey across Alaska, albeit by truck and plane, not dog sled.
The arch, a carved, burled spruce log, was trucked from Sterling
to Anchorage last week. Northern Air Cargo plans to fly it early
this week to Nome, where it will span Front Street and greet mushers
who finish the 1, 049-mile Iditarod Sled Dog Race in March. [more]
AKIAK'S TOUGH, CANTANKEROUS RED DOGS WIN MUSHERS'
BETHEL --No one is sure when the first dogs showed up in Akiak.
But there are some dog mushers who say that all the best sled dogs
come from this tiny village 25 miles east of Bethel.
They are called red dogs, named so because of the color of their
fur. Unlike the coloring found in most sled dogs, the Akiak dogs
have hair almost strawberry blonde. When bred with a black dog,
a glowing auburn coat results.
It is believed the lineage of the red dog in Akiak originated at
least a millennium ago, possibly more. [more]
BOULDING WINS KUSKOKWIM 300
VETERAN MUSHER BRAVES BLIZZARD
UPPER KALSKAG--With a blizzard raging outside and nearly everyone
indoors -- including his wife -- questioning his sanity, Charlie
Boulding set out alone into a blinding snowstorm Saturday night,
making the move that would bring victory Sunday afternoon in the
Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race.
Boulding's tracks disappeared almost instantly while savage wind
gusts turned his white windbreaker into more of a sail than a coat.
MUSHERS TAKING A BEATING
KUSKOKWIM 300 TURNING INTO LITTLE RACE OF HORRORS
By S.J. Komarnitsky
Daily News Reporter
UPPER KALSKAG--With nearly 100 miles to go in the Kuskokwim 300
Sled Dog Race, mushers were starting to look like survivors of a
bad night at the local pub.
Bleary eyed, they took mincing steps to keep from losing their balance
and rubbed weary hands through hair that, after two days on the
trail, defied gravity.
Their exhaustion wasn't from the mileage but the weather. [more]
30 MILES TO 300
FAIRBANKS SPRINT MUSHER'S STRATEGY FOR KUSKO IS TO JUST FINISH THE
BETHEL--In 15 years of racing sled dogs, Curtis Erhart has rarely
made it his goal simply to finish.
But lining up here Friday at the start of the 21st Kuskokwim 300
Sled Dog Race, all this veteran competitor had in mind was making
it back to this riverside town.
''I don't have to worry about strategy,'' the 37-year-old Fairbanks
native said. ''All I'm doing is trying to finish.'' [more]
BAD WEATHER DOGS KUSKO
300-MILER BEGINS TODAY
BETHEL--With the start of the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race
hours away, the talk of this town was not about veterans Martin
Buser or Charlie Boulding, but a more elemental factor: the weather.
The forecast called for blowing snow, temperatures in the 30s and
wind gusts of up to 30 mph -- a musher's nightmare. Or, as race
director Bev Hoffman put it, ''Crappy.''
Mushers expect to confront either slick ice or punchy slush, depending
on how warm it gets. [more]
BOULDING CAPTURES KLONDIKE 300 TITLE
BIG LAKE--Charlie Boulding and a team of 12 dogs crossed
the finish line Monday to win the Klondike 300 Sled Dog Race.
For his first-place finish, Boulding got $4,480 -- 40 percent of
the $11,200 purse -- and a meal of steak, eggs, hash browns, two
slices of orange, and coffee at the Klondike Inn.
''I reckon I had good fast dogs,'' said the musher from Manley Hot
Springs. ''It was a real good run, and I'm happy sitting here eating
my winner's steak.'' [more]
24 KLONDIKE 300 MUSHERS HIT TRAIL
BIG LAKE--Lynda Plettner left the starting line of the
Klondike 300 Sled Dog race as the the top returning finisher from
last year's event.
But the seven-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race veteran harbors
no illusions about claiming top honors in the 2000 Klondike 300.
Plettner, of Big Lake, has the bulk of her Iditarod-tested dogs
dispersed among three mushers who are seeking to qualify for their
first Iditarod run in March. [more]
IDITAROD BUG'S GOT A GRIP ON RUNYAN
CLIFF, N.M.--He won 'em all, and then he got out.
Joe Runyan won the Yukon Quest in 1985, the Alpirod in 1988 and
the Iditarod in 1989 -- the triple crown of dog mushing. If he was
not the best musher in the world at the time, he was 1A to Susan
And then he wondered if he really wanted to race huskies for the
rest of his life. [more]
GEBHARDT DECLARED WINNER OF COPPER BASIN 300
After a night of debate and a day of contemplation by race officials,
Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof on Tuesday was crowned the winner of the
Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race.
He was the first musher to cross the finish line outside the Gakona
Lodge and Trading Post Monday evening, but five more mushers followed
within 22 minutes.
With the dog teams parked, the jockeying began.
Almost everyone was in trouble for doing something wrong, race marshal
Jon Van Zyle said Tuesday. [more]
COPPER BASIN 300 MIRED IN CONFUSION
Musher Paul Gebhardt led the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race across
the finish line in Gakona on Monday night, but it has yet to be
determined whether he won.
Only five minutes behind the Kasilof musher at the finish line was
the Alaska distance mushing surprise of the year: 23-year-old Jessie
Royer of Montana. But it's unclear whether she will remain in second.
Race officials were huddled at the Gakona Lodge and Trading Post
on Monday night trying to mediate a rules dispute that could shake
up the entire first five. [more]
LITTLE, ROYER LEAD COPPER BASIN 300
A newspaper reporter from the Kenai Peninsula and a Montanan
who has worked as a dog handler for Iditarod champs Doug Swingley
and Jeff King moved to the front of the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog
Race on Sunday.
The move by journalist Jon Little was not a big surprise. He led
this race briefly last year before being passed by eventual winner
Martin Buser and fading to fourth.
This time, Little followed veterans Hans Gatt of Atlin, British
Columbia, and DeeDee Jonrowe of Willow over the 60 miles of rolling
trail through the foothills of the Alaska Range from Lake Louise
to Sourdough, then grabbed the lead when they stopped to rest at
the checkpoint. [more]
WILLIS CHARGES INTO LEAD
Traveling fast on the ice-hardened trails of the Nelchina
Basin, Andy Willis led the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race -- and
his boss -- into the Tolsona Resort on Saturday evening.
A veteran of the 1996 and 1998 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Races, Willis,
who grew up in Anchorage,
is now a dog handler for Iditarod contender DeeDee Jonrowe of Willow.
FLU FOILS BEST LAID COPPER BASIN PLANS
The flu bug on Friday significantly altered the looks
of the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race scheduled to start today in
Defending champ Martin Buser, who has run Copper Basin since its
inception in 1990, will be home in bed at Big Lake when the first
of 37 mushers head west at 1 p.m. on the first leg of the race.
Buser won the race last year for the first time, after a string
of second-place finishes that were broken only by the year the race
was canceled due to temperatures of 60 degrees below zero. [more]
JONROWE ENLISTS NEW HELP
MUSHER STARTS OVER IN COPPER BASIN 300
Since last March's mutiny on the Yukon River, DeeDee Jonrowe
has been building a new dog team.
Gone are the 12 dogs that called it quits in the 75-below wind chill
hammering down the frozen, snow-covered Interior waterway. The Willow
musher retired them all.
They had learned what she feared was a dangerous lesson: that the
team could ignore the coach and set its own game plan. [more]
IDITAROD'S RECORD FIELD LOSES FOUR MUSHERS
The record field for the 2000 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog
Race is shrinking.
By the time Iditarod Trail Committee officials got a final count
of entries in the mail in time for last month's entry deadline,
the field had grown to a whopping 97 -- more than a dozen above
the previous record of 84 back in 1992.
Since then, however, four mushers have withdrawn. Cim Smith of Big
Lake; Jesse Beebe of Bradford, Maine; Dale Myers of Wasilla; and
Jeremy Gebauer of Lincoln, Mont., say they won't be able to make
the big show. [more]
HUNTINGON RULED MUSHING IN THE '70S
To appreciate what Carl Huntington pulled off in the
1970s, consider the improbability of a runner winning the 100 meters
at one Olympics and the marathon at another.
The Athabaskan musher from Galena became the king of sprint mushing
in 1973 by winning the Fur Rendezvous World Championship. One year
later, he became the king of distance mushing by winning the Iditarod
Trail Sled Dog Race. Not a single musher has duplicated Huntington's
''I was young, I had a lot of energy, and I had a good sponsor,''
Huntington said by way of explanation. [more]
READERS LIKE MOE AND JOE
ALPINE SKIER EDGES REDINGTON
The greatest accomplishment by an Alaska athlete the past
100 years was Tommy Moe's unexpected Olympic victory.
That's the opinion of Alaskans who voted Moe, the 1994 Olympic downhill
gold medalist, the Alaska Athlete of the Century.
''Only true Alaska world champion -- an Olympic champion,'' wrote
Lana Johnson, who selected Moe No. 1 on her top-10 ballot. [more]
STATE LOSES NOTABLE FIGURES
MUSHERS REDINGTON, NOLLNER AMONG ALASKANS TO DIE IN 1999
Iditarod founder Joe Redington Sr. and Edgar Nollner, the
last survivor of the serum run that inspired the famed sled dog
race, were among Alaskans who passed away in 1999.
Other prominent Alaskans who died this year included Bill Bishop,
the geologist who found the state's first commercial oil field;
Roger Connor, a former Alaska Supreme Court justice; Harold Gillam,
a former mayor of Fairbanks; and Burton Rexford, longtime head of
the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.
Redington, a homesteader from Knik, was the chief organizer of the
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in its early days. He died of esophageal
cancer in June at age 82. [more]