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Loose dog, thin ice conspire to knock Janssen out of Iditarod

Beth Bragg,Kevin Klott
Alex Buetow drives his dog team into the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, AK, went through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Marianne Mallory, from Chugiak, AK, chops firewood at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Mallory is a junior musher and hopes to run the Jr. Iditarod next year.
Bob Hallinen
Nikolai residents Oline Petruska, Tyler Alexia and Stephanie Petruska wait by the wood fired hot water for mushers to come in at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, prepares her dog team to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Nikolai residents Philip Esei and his wife Doris Esei talk to visitors at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Philip Esei runs Silver Tip Guide service out of Nikolai, the last of the three guiding services that were in Nikolai. Esei is a hunting guide for everything except mountain goats.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, AK, went through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Christian Turner snacks his dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The day before his gangline broke and he lost his team in the Farewell Burn except for the two wheel dogs.
Bob Hallinen
Nikolai resident Oline Petruska, talks with visitors at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Nathan Schroeder, from Chisholm, MN, rubs ointment into LoopÍs leg at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Alex Buetow is all smiles as he arrives coming into the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, prepares her dog team to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Christian Turner snacks his dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The day before his gangline broke and he lost his team in the Farewell Burn except for the two wheel dogs.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Mike Ellis, from Two Rivers, AK, went through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Scott Janssen rubs a bruised arm while wearing a boot for his broken foot on Wednesday afternoon, March 5, 2014, at his south Anchorage home. Janssen, an Anchorage undertaker known as the Mushing Mortician, was airlifted off the trail to an Anchorage hospital early Wednesday morning for treatment for a concussion along with a broken bone.
Erik Hill
Nikolai checker Marty Runkle points out the lay of the land of the checkpoint to Alex Buetow as he arrives at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, prepares her dog team to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Monica Zappa looks for dry long underwear in her sled bag at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle gets a kiss from her husband and fellow Iditarod musher Allen Moore as she prepares to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 P.M. during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Some gear is now home as Iditarod musher Scott Janssen begins his recuperation from a concussion and a broken foot Wednesday afternoon, March 5, 2014, at his south Anchorage home. Janssen, an Anchorage undertaker known as the Mushing Mortician, was airlifted off the trail to an Anchorage hospital early Wednesday morning for treatment for a concussion along with a broken bone.
Erik Hill
Curt Perano, from Central Otago, New Zealand, massages Block at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Christian Turner snacks his dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The day before, his gangline broke and he lost his team in the Farewell Burn, except for the two wheel dogs.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, prepares her dog team to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Alex Buetow drives his dog team into the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, leaves the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen, from Anchorage, AK, removes his dog team's booties after arriving at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
One of John DixonÕs team dogs looks back at the musher after they arrived at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Nathan Schroeder, from Chisholm, MN, rubs ointment into LoopÍs leg at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Nikolai residents Philip Esei and his wife Doris Esei talk to visitors at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Philip Esei runs Silver Tip Guide service out of Nikolai, the last of the three guiding services that were in Nikolai. Esei is a hunting guide for everything except mountain goats.
Bob Hallinen
Marte Brekke and Therese Neff, from Norway, have their photo made with Dick Newton, ADN Iditarod Hall of Fame member, the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Brekke has been staying in a cabin outside of Takotna for 6 months hunting and enjoying the wilderness.
Bob Hallinen
Mats Pettersson, from Kiruna, Sweden, puts coats on his dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his team through the spruce forest between the McGrath and Takotna checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Mike Ellis, from Two Rivers, AK, went through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Scott Janssen rubs a bruised arm while wearing a boot for his broken foot on Wednesday afternoon, March 5, 2014, at his south Anchorage home. Janssen, an Anchorage undertaker known as the Mushing Mortician, was airlifted off the trail to an Anchorage hospital early Wednesday morning for treatment for a concussion along with a broken bone.
Erik Hill
Alex Buetow is all smiles as he arrives coming into the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Karin Hendrickson, from Wasilla, AK, works on her sled at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Hendrickson said that every bolt on her sled is loose and every muscle in her body is sore including neck muscles when she yawns.
Bob Hallinen
Mats Pettersson, from Kiruna, Sweden, puts coats on his dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Flash, a team dog for musher Mike Williams Jr., rests on his bed of straw at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle gets a kiss from her husband and fellow Iditarod musher Allen Moore as she prepares to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 P.M. during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Some gear is now home as Iditarod musher Scott Janssen begins his recuperation from a concussion and a broken foot Wednesday afternoon, March 5, 2014, at his south Anchorage home. Janssen, an Anchorage undertaker known as the Mushing Mortician, was airlifted off the trail to an Anchorage hospital early Wednesday morning for treatment for a concussion along with a broken bone.
Erik Hill
Nikolai checker Marty Runkle points out the lay of the land of the checkpoint to Alex Buetow as he arrives at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Karin Hendrickson, from Wasilla, AK, winces as she gets up while working on her sled at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Hendrickson said that every bolt on her sled is loose and every muscle in her body is sore including neck muscles when she yawns.
Bob Hallinen
A pile of dog booties lies on the snow near the Mats Pettersson, from Kiruna, Sweden, dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Mike Williams Jr. sits on his dog sled as he changes batteries in his headlamp at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, leaves the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Curt Perano, from Central Otago, New Zealand, massages Block at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Christian Turner snacks his dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The day before, his gangline broke and he lost his team in the Farewell Burn, except for the two wheel dogs.
Bob Hallinen
Anna Berington passes through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Flags representing the nations of the foreign mushers in the race fly at the side of the trail.
Bob Hallinen
Michelle Phillips, from Tagash, YT, Canada, feeds her dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Phil Runkle brings an armful of wood to the water heater at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The checkpoint provides hot water for all of the mushers.
Bob Hallinen
Marte Brekke and Therese Neff, from Norway, have their photo made with Dick Newton, ADN Iditarod Hall of Fame member, the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Brekke has been staying in a cabin outside of Takotna for 6 months hunting and enjoying the wilderness.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen, from Anchorage, AK, removes his dog team's booties after arriving at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
One of John DixonÕs team dogs looks back at the musher after they arrived at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Frankie Sayer stands on the brake of Iditarod musher Charley Bejna, from Addison, IL, sled at the Takotna checkpoint while Bejna goes through his drop bags during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Bejna went through the checkpoint without stopping to rest.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Ray Redington, Jr. and Race Marshal Mark Nordman watch a GoPro video of musher Jeff King running his team through the Dalzell Gorge at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Newton Marshall gets hot water from the wood fired heater at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The checkpoint provides hot water for all of the mushers.
Bob Hallinen
Karin Hendrickson, from Wasilla, AK, works on her sled at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Hendrickson said that every bolt on her sled is loose and every muscle in her body is sore including neck muscles when she yawns.
Bob Hallinen
Mats Pettersson, from Kiruna, Sweden, puts coats on his dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his team through the spruce forest between the McGrath and Takotna checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Robert Sorlie, from Hurdal, Norway, sports a golden necklace at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Sorlie was given the necklace by a little girl in the chute at the start of the race in Willow, AK.
Bob Hallinen
Michelle Phillips, from Tagash, YT, Canada, feeds her dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Newton Marshall talks about helping out a musher on the Farewell Burn with a broken ankle at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Karin Hendrickson, from Wasilla, AK, winces as she gets up while working on her sled at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Hendrickson said that every bolt on her sled is loose and every muscle in her body is sore including neck muscles when she yawns.
Bob Hallinen
Mats Pettersson, from Kiruna, Sweden, puts coats on his dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Flash, a team dog for musher Mike Williams Jr., rests on his bed of straw at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, AK, gets a dipper of hot water to dump in his dog food cooler at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Neff blew through the checkpoint without stopping to rest.
Bob Hallinen
Marianne Mallory, from Chugiak, AK, chops firewood at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Mallory is a junior musher and hopes to run the Jr. Iditarod next year.
Bob Hallinen
Nikolai residents Oline Petruska, Tyler Alexia and Stephanie Petruska wait by the wood fired hot water for mushers to come in at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Anna Berington passes through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Flags representing the nations of the foreign mushers in the race fly at the side of the trail.
Bob Hallinen
A pile of dog booties lies on the snow near the Mats Pettersson, from Kiruna, Sweden, dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Mike Williams Jr. sits on his dog sled as he changes batteries in his headlamp at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, AK, went through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Christian Turner snacks his dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The day before his gangline broke and he lost his team in the Farewell Burn except for the two wheel dogs.
Bob Hallinen
Nikolai resident Oline Petruska, talks with visitors at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Frankie Sayer stands on the brake of Iditarod musher Charley Bejna, from Addison, IL, sled at the Takotna checkpoint while Bejna goes through his drop bags during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Bejna went through the checkpoint without stopping to rest.
Bob Hallinen
Michelle Phillips, from Tagash, YT, Canada, feeds her dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Phil Runkle brings an armful of wood to the water heater at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The checkpoint provides hot water for all of the mushers.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, AK, went through the Takotna checkpoint without stopping to rest during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Christian Turner snacks his dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The day before his gangline broke and he lost his team in the Farewell Burn except for the two wheel dogs.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Robert Sorlie, from Hurdal, Norway, sports a golden necklace at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Sorlie was given the necklace by a little girl in the chute at the start of the race in Willow, AK.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Ray Redington, Jr. and Race Marshal Mark Nordman watch a GoPro video of musher Jeff King running his team through the Dalzell Gorge at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Newton Marshall gets hot water from the wood fired heater at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The checkpoint provides hot water for all of the mushers.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, prepares her dog team to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Monica Zappa looks for dry long underwear in her sled bag at the Nikolai checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, AK, gets a dipper of hot water to dump in his dog food cooler at the Takotna checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Neff blew through the checkpoint without stopping to rest.
Bob Hallinen
Michelle Phillips, from Tagash, YT, Canada, feeds her dog team at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Newton Marshall talks about helping out a musher on the Farewell Burn with a broken ankle at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race at sunrise on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, prepares her dog team to leave the Takotna checkpoint at 9 p.m. after a 24-hour layover during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.
Bob Hallinen

A loose dog and thin ice did what a crashed sled and temporary unconsciousness could not -- knock Anchorage musher Scott Janssen out of the Iditarod on Tuesday, turning Wednesday into a day off for his dogs, who hung out on the Farewell Burn while race volunteers tended to them.

The Alaska Air National Guard rescued Janssen late Tuesday night, using a C-130 airplane to scout a safe route to Janssen's location and a Pave Hawk helicopter to pick him up and take him to an Anchorage hospital.

The helicopter had to refuel in flight because weather was so poor it took several attempts to find a safe flying route, according to an account from the Alaska National Guard.

Bad weather kept Janssen's 15 dogs on the trail overnight and into Wednesday evening. When the weather clears, the Iditarod Air Force will bring the team home to Anchorage, said Janssen, who was resting at home Wednesday with a broken foot.

One of the dogs, Hooper, may return with his tail between his legs. He's the dog that got loose on the Farewell Burn near Tin Creek, Janssen said, forcing the musher to set his snow hook and give chase.

During the pursuit, Janssen broke through the ice on Tin Creek, his boots filled with frigid water, and he turned back. As Janssen was returning to his sled, Hooper trotted past and returned to his spot on the team. Right about then is when Janssen slipped, fell and hurt his foot.

Janssen told his tale Wednesday after being treated and released by Providence Alaska Medical Center for what he said is a broken foot. He said a CAT scan showed no sign of concussion.

Janssen, 52, is an Anchorage undertaker known was the Mushin' Mortician. He's a two-time Iditarod finisher and a two-time Iditarod scratcher. He has a big personality and an appreciation for the absurd -- before his 2010 race debut, he joked about being the first funeral director to run the Iditarod. "I'm dying to do it," he cracked.

He said Wednesday he thought he had survived the worst of what has been a merciless Iditarod by making it past the Happy River Steps and Dalzell Gorge and into Rohn, on the far side of the Alaska Range.

"They asked me in Rohn how the trail was," Janssen said, "and I said it was like riding a Harley down a curvy road."

Things got worse, at least for Janssen, once he left Rohn for Nikolai, a trip across the mostly-dirt Farewell Burn.

Janssen spent several hours in Rohn before returning to the trail at 5:22 a.m. Tuesday. He said was cruising along with only three of his dogs hooked up with the tuglines in order to keep their speed down. He came around a tight corner and his right runner hit a tussock.

"I knew I was going down," he said.

As he tipped over, he said, he saw a stump about eight inches tall. The next thing he knew, he was waking up. His dogs were lying next to him, blanketed by light snow, and his sled was stuck in the brush. He doesn't know how long he was knocked out, but he guesses it must have been a couple of hours.

After picking up some equipment that had fallen out of his sled, he was ready to leave when Danny Seavey pulled up.

"Are you OK?" Seavey asked.

"I think I may have gone night-night for a while," Janssen told Seavey. "I hit that stump pretty hard with my head."

After Seavey left, Janssen continued to Tin Creek to water his dogs. There was open water and the dogs were trying to stay on the ice as much as they could. Four didn't have their tuglines hooked. One of them -- Hooper -- went around the wrong side of a tree and his neckline snapped. Hooper ran down the trail and out of sight.

Janssen set his snow hook and ran to find him. He broke through the ice and into knee-deep water. As his boots filled with water, he stopped, realizing he wasn't going to catch Hooper.

Janssen said he was returning to his team when Hooper ran past him and returned to his original position on the team. Then Janssen fell.

"I slipped on the freaking ice and I caught myself instead of falling on my butt," he said. "I tried to crawl over to the sled but there was water between me and the sled."

The dogs weren't going anywhere -- the gangline was tangled around a tree. Janssen said he laid down on the ice for about 45 minutes before Jamaica musher Newton Marshall showed up.

"I thought I heard a team coming, so I yelled, 'Help! Help!' '' Janssen said.

Marshall came around the corner and said, "Yah mon! Whataya doing?"

"I think I broke my ankle," Janssen told him.

Marshall helped Janssen put on his snow suit and get into his sleeping bag. "I was getting a little hypothermic," Janssen said.

Marshall stayed with Janssen until a snowmachine with an Iditarod Insider camera crew aboard arrived from Nikolai. They were there to photograph the sunset.

By then, Janssen had already hit the emergency button on his GPS tracker and the Alaska National Guard was on its way.

The C-130 and Pave Hawk left Anchorage shortly after 8 p.m., according to the Alaska National Guard report of the rescue. They immediately encountered bad weather, and it was 11 p.m. before they reached Janssen. They delivered him to Providence around midnight.

Meanwhile, Iditarod Insider crew members and race volunteers helped feed and water Janssen's dogs.

"They've got my cooker, went and grabbed my drop bags from Nikolai and instructions on how to feed them," Jansssen said. "I trust my dogs will be taken care of.

Reach Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or 257-4335.

 

Iditarod standings
By BETH BRAGG and KEVIN KLOTT
Anchorage Daily News / adn.com