Suzanna Caldwell

Forget the Happy River Steps and the always treacherous Dalzell Gorge when it comes to this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Those notorious parts of the trail are not in the rerouted race, and their equivalent doesn't exist on the new trail from Fairbanks.

But that’s not to say this year’s Iditarod won’t have its own challenges. The weather can always be a major problem, as last year's race demonstrated when the leaders were battered by a windstorm not far from the finish line.

“Technical challenges, I don’t think they will exist much at all,” said veteran racer and Iditarod “ armchair musher ” Sebastian Schnuelle. “But the weather challenge will exist.”...

Suzanna Caldwell

In the early days of the Iditarod, Raine Hall Rawlins, the race’s first paid staffer and executive director, barely scraped by.

She remembers writing the Iditarod Runner, one of the organization’s first newsletters, on paper by candlelight in the small Yukon River community of Ruby, where she was on the Iditarod Trail Committee's board and a dog handler for champion musher Emmitt Peters. Back then, in the early 1970s, there was no phone, no typewriter, no electricity for light bulbs in the village.

When she later moved to Wasilla, Rawlins went and found the first telephone for the race's first office, using her own money to pay for it ...

Suzanna Caldwell

The saga of four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser is one that some race fans have followed for decades. But for the first time, the mushing legend out of Big Lake is telling the story in his own words.

On Sunday, Buser released his first book, " Dog Man ." He said the book, written by the Big Lake musher himself, chronicles his life including his 35 years in Alaska, and the 31 Iditarods he’s run over that time. He's never scratched nor finished lower than 25th...

Suzanna Caldwell

Another day, another move for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Race organizers announced Monday that the Fairbanks restart -- already moved from its traditional location in Willow for only the second time in race history -- would be moved from the Chena River north of Pike’s Landing to a nearby road due to warm weather and deteriorating river ice...

Suzanna Caldwell

If musher Brent Sass had his way, he would live completely off the grid on his remote homestead in remote Eureka . But with almost 60 dogs and a burgeoning racing career, Sass acknowledges that a few creature comforts are necessary.

An Internet connection to stay in touch with the outside world and sponsors is needed. So is running water, even though nearby Joe Bush Creek provides plenty. Sass admits it would be harder to keep handlers around without it.

“Most days I don’t want running water, I just want water out of the creek," Sass said. “I don’t rule out going more rustic but it is a big operation. I’m not sure I could get people to come help me.”...

Suzanna Caldwell

Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King is gearing up for the trail with a meal fit for a King.

The Glacier Brewhouse, Orso and Make-A-Wish Alaska are partnering to host “Dinner With the King." Proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The five-course meal is modeled after sections of the race -- including the ceremonial start, restart, Interior and Bering Sea and burled arch. Many of the courses play on the King theme, including king crab, white king salmon and “King” bananas foster. All are paired with Glacier Brewhouse beers...

Suzanna Caldwell

As an Anchorage cardiologist, Dr. Mark Selland has an impressive resume: medical school, internships, fellowships. But he also has an impressive resume when it comes to outdoor escapades.

He’s skied over the Harding Ice Field from Seward to Homer, traversed the Brooks Range, floated through the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and climbed an impressive number of peaks -- notching six of the Seven Summits (he’s missing Australia’s Mount Kosciusko), including Mount Everest and Denali.

But for Selland, running the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, as he plans to this year, isn’t about checking another accomplishment off a list.

“This is not a bucket list,” he said in an interview last week. “I don’t have a bucket list of things I want to do.”...

Suzanna Caldwell

As an Anchorage cardiologist, Mark Selland has an impressive resume: medical school, internships, cardiology fellowships. But he also has an impressive resume when it comes to outdoor escapades...

Loren Holmes,Suzanna Caldwell

Musher Rob Cooke collected an unexpected red lantern for finishing last in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race earlier this month , but now has his sights set on becoming the first Siberian husky team to finish both that race and the Iditarod in the same year.

"We're never going to win Iditarod, but we can do very well," he said in a telephone interview from his home outside of Whitehorse, Yukon, on Thursday...

Suzanna Caldwell

Following in the footsteps of its parent race , the Junior Iditarod is heading north.

Race organizers announced Tuesday the race would be moved from its original starting location at the Willow Community Center to the Denali Highway outside of Cantwell.

Trail Manager and Junior Iditarod Board Treasurer Richard Plack said rainy weather over the weekend turned the already snow-short trails in to ice sheets.

"It's too dangerous for the kids," said Plack, noting it would be impossible for racers to use their sled break or set a snow hook to stop the dogs...

Suzanna Caldwell

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