Suzanna Caldwell

Defending champion Dallas Seavey pulled into White Mountain at 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, taking another step toward what would be his third Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race title...

Suzanna Caldwell

KOYUK -- Jeff King’s Monday evening run here was challenging as his dogs struggled to run on the sugar-snow-covered trail heading into the coastal village.

But things got even crazier for King when he was charged by what he called a “rabid seal.”...

Suzanna Caldwell
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KALTAG -- Ask most Iditarod racers how they’re doing and, most of the time, they'll say everything is fine...

Loren Holmes,Suzanna Caldwell

KALTAG -- Ask most Iditarod racers how they’re doing and, most of the time, they'll say everything is fine.

Many competitive mushers hide their game faces behind frosty fur ruffs and icy fleece neck guards, not wanting competitors to see them struggling. Few who watch mushers from afar ever get to see mushers' hands close up.

With brutally cold temperatures haunting Iditarod racers the last six days , hands have become more vital than ever. Racers are working to care for their dogs swiftly while at the same time working to fight off cold and injuries to their own extremities...

Suzanna Caldwell

Musher Aaron Burmeister talks about his 15-hour run breaking trail through a snowstorm on the Norton Sound coast after he arrived in the Iditarod checkpoint in Koyuk on Monday, just minutes behind defending champion Dallas Seavey...

Suzanna Caldwell

Dallas Seavey, defending Iditarod champ, looked well-positioned to potentially grab back-to-back titles when he pulled into the coastal community of Koyuk Monday, mere minutes ahead of challenger Aaron Burmeister...

Suzanna Caldwell

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

KALTAG -- Pushing his "little-kid sled" through the woods of Knik, musher Wade Marrs used to pretend he was racing the Iditarod, imagining himself stopping at checkpoints enroute to Nome.

Fast forward to today, where the 24-year-old musher’s dream has become reality. Marrs is racing his fifth Iditarod and passing through those dreamed-of checkpoints in an enviable position.

Marrs was the 11th musher out of Kaltag on Sunday morning, and he’d been hopping in and out of the top 10 over the last several days. With his short-run, short-rest strategy, Marrs appeared to be setting up his team of 11 remaining dogs for a strong run over the last 300 miles of the race...

Suzanna Caldwell

KOYUKUK -- Ask the mushers pulling into the Koyukuk checkpoint how the 82 miles between here and Huslia were and they'll give you one answer: cold.

"I'm freezing," said Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom.

While thermometers read minus 10, it seemed twice as cold in the Koyukuk dog lot nestled on the banks of the Yukon River. Cold temperatures appear to be a constant in this year's race, though mushers coming into the checkpoint seemed to agree that Saturday had been the worst of it.

Ulsom said the Yukon Quest, which had temperatures dip to minus 50, felt like "nothing" compared to the run he had coming in to Koyukuk.

"This felt 10 times colder," he said...

Suzanna Caldwell