Craig Medred

Brutalized and beaten but somehow unbowed by the 46-degree-below-zero cold, deep snow and the overwhelming desolation of the Iditarod Trail through the heart of unoccupied Interior Alaska, Tim and Loreen Hewitt flew home to Pennsylvania more than a week ago to nurse their cold-weather injuries...

Craig Medred

Nome's Aaron Burmeister led the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to the icy coast of Alaska's Bering Sea and the checkpoint of Unalakleet on Sunday afternoon, but he didn't get much of a chance to celebrate.

Less than four hours after the frosted, 39-year-old musher received the warm welcome for which the checkpoint is famous, defending champ Dallas Seavey from Willow pulled in behind a string of 12 very strong-looking dogs and was almost as quickly gone into the howling coastal winds...

Craig Medred,Suzanna Caldwell

As if four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champ and cancer survivor Lance Mackey hasn't faced enough hardship already this year, another disaster struck on Thursday night. Iditarod officials reported a three-year-old dog in Mackey's team died of unknown causes while the musher and team were making the 120-mile run from Tanana to Ruby along the Yukon River. The Iditarod said a necropsy was planned to try to determine what caused the death of the dog, Wyatt. He is the first dog to die while racing in the Iditarod since 2009. One dog did die in 2013 after it was left at a checkpoint to recover. That dog was buried by snow in a storm and suffocated....

Craig Medred

A Minnesota friend of Alaska musher Brent Sass says she'd like to help him make as much money for getting booted from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as he would have earned for winning it.

Sass, a 35-year-old from the rural outpost of Eureka, was disqualified from the race on Tuesday. Race officials said he was traveling the trail with an iPod Touch in his sled. The device is capable of two-way wireless communication via the Internet...

Craig Medred

The Seavey gang led the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race into Ruby late Wednesday afternoon. A few hours later, Jeff King led the way out...

Craig Medred,Beth Bragg

TANANA -- Puffs of warm breath formed little clouds in the frigid air embraced by the dozens of people who turned out in this historic musher community on Tuesday to greet the arrival of Martin Buser, the leader in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Cold-weather scenes have been somewhat rare in Alaska in this strange winter of warmth, but the season seems to have set itself right just in time for the running of the 49th state's No. 1 sporting event.

After a rainy start to Iditarod in Anchorage on Saturday followed by a long drive north to the relocated restart in Fairbanks, the Iditarod is rolling into what fans have come to expect -- cold weather and hot dogs...

Craig Medred

Once again, four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champ Martin Buser is starting with a seemingly go-for-broke goal to win it all or pay the price.

He was the first musher into Nenana, the first checkpoint, on Monday and quickly thereafter the first musher out to grab the immediate lead in the 1,000-mile race to Nome.

Before leaving Fairbanks, the location for this year's Iditarod restart, the 57-year-old musher from Big Lake insisted “I’m not going to jump out front . I want to be first at the end, not the first at Tanana.”...

Craig Medred

Winter returned to Southcentral Alaska too late for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which will follow its ceremonial Anchorage start with a long drive north to Fairbanks, where the real 1,000-mile race to Nome begins Monday.

The Fairbanks start appears destined to ensure speed in a race that might well have been slowed by the foot or so of snow forecast to fall over the weekend across the Susitna Valley and north into the Alaska Range and the upper reaches of the Kuskokwim River.

Bare ground in the latter area is what forced the Iditarod start north and changed -- many believe -- the way this year's race will be run. A Fairbanks-to-Nome race is not wholly new for the Iditarod, but it has taken place only once, more than a decade ago...

Craig Medred

Ultra running phenomenon David Johnston from Willow has notched another win in the first stage of the Iditarod Trail Invitational.

The holder of the record time for the 350-mile stage from the community of Knik over the Alaska Range to the Interior community of McGrath, Johnson reached the finish line in the tiny, Kuskokwim River city at 10:45 p.m. Thursday.

His time was 4 days, 8 hours and 45 minutes. It was about seven hours off the record pace he set last year.

The hard, often snowless Iditarod Trail that was a boon to fat-tired bikers this year did not help runners and hikers. They pull their survival gear along the trail on sleds, and sleds slide better on snow than on rocks, dirt and frozen tussocks...

Craig Medred

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