Iditarod 2012: The Best Photos from The Last Great Race

Alaska Disptach,Alaska Dispatch staff

On March 4, 2012, years of preparation, trial and error, defeat and victory culminated on a frozen lake in tiny Willow, Alaska, about 70 miles north of the state’s largest city, where Iditarod XL was officially under way. By March 14, there was a winner.

Twenty-five year old Iditarod musher Dallas Seavey raised and pumped his arms in victory as he rode onto Front Street in Nome, tossing in a thumb's up to the cheering crowd as he pulled into the winner's chute to claim his place in history. Seavey crossed the finish line after racing 9 days, 4 hours and 29 minutes to become the youngest first-place finisher in the history of the race.

Here are some of our best photos and videos of previous coverage of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

For complete coverage, check out our special Iditarod section

  1. 1 Photos: Iditarod 2012 leaders reach Nome

    On the biggest stage in dog mushing, Dallas Seavey from Willow finally bested the women he once chased futilely along the Iditarod Trail, rolling down Front Street in Nome to win the race 40th edition early Tuesday night.

  2. 2 Sexy mushers of Iditarod 2012

    Sexiest mushers of Iditarod 2012: Sports Illustrated swimsuit models can have their day. Alaskans prefer our pin-ups in fleece and Carhartts -- and covered in dog hair.

  3. 3 Photos: Watching the northern lights while on the Iditarod Trail

    The northern lights were dancing over the Iditarod Trail this past week as mushers raced to Nome. Here are several photos Loren Holmes shot while covering the race for Alaska Dispatch.

  4. 4 Photos: Iditarod 2012 leaders head toward White Mountain

    Dallas Seavey, Aliy Zirkle and Ramey Smyth were expected to begin filing into White Mountain, 77 miles from Nome, after midnight.

  5. 5 Photos: 2012 Iditarod -- Remembering Susan Butcher's first Iditarod win

    Susan Butcher's daughters Tekla, 16, and Chisana, 11, are traveling with their father Dave Monson to celebrate their mother's first Iditarod win 25 years ago.

  6. 6 Photos: Iditarod 2012 - The race comes to Koyuk

    As they matched dog teams on the stretch run to Nome, neither leader Dallas Seavey or second-place Aliy Zirkle were giving any quarter. Catching Seavey won't be easy, Zirkle knows. Her team's not as fast.

  7. 7 Photos: Jeff King scratches outside of Unalakleet

    Jeff King, one of the greatest mushers in Iditarod history, scratched late Sunday when some of his dogs developed a serious stomach problem about 12 miles outside of Unalakleet.

  8. 8 Photos: 2012 Iditarod - Mushers reach the coast

    Two Rivers musher Aliy Zirkle hangs on to her Iditarod lead to the Norton Sound coast, but Dallas Seavey is closing fast.

  9. 9 Photos: Musher Dallas Seavey on the Iditarod Trail

    Behind 11 dogs with some speed, Dallas Seavey may be in position to become the youngest Iditarod champion. But Aliy Zirkle, Aaron Burmeister and John Baker have other ideas. 

  10. 10 Photos: Aliy Zirkle on the Iditarod Trail

    Aliy Zirkle of Two Rivers, Alaska, former Yukon Quest race winner, has led most of the 2012 Iditarod race until Unalakleet. Can she come back on the home stretch?

  11. 11 Photos: Iditarod great Lance Mackey's rise and fall

    Lance Mackey won every race from 2007 to 2010. His reign was reminiscent of those of old like Swenson, Butcher and Swingley. It ended last year with a 16th-place showing.

  12. 12 Photos: 2012 Iditarod -- The race through Galena

    Two Rivers musher Aliy Zirkle was out of Nulato before dawn, before Mitch or Dallas Seavey arrived.

  13. 13 Photos: Iditarod 2012 - Leaders in Ruby

    Mitch Seavey may have been the first into Ruby, but after a day of hard racing following his mandatory 24-hour rest, he didn't anticipate rushing his team into another long haul.

  14. 14 Photos: Iditarod 2012 - Leaders make it to Cripple

    Jim Lanier is $3,000 richer after his early afternoon appearance Thursday at a checkpoint that feels like exactly where it is – the middle of nowhere and the halfway point of the Itidarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

  15. 15 Photos: Watching the northern lights while on the Iditarod Trail

    The northern lights were dancing over the Iditarod Trail this past week as mushers raced to Nome. Here are several photos Loren Holmes shot while covering the race for Alaska Dispatch.

  16. 16 Photos: Iditarod 2012 -- Life in Ophir

    Fresh off their 24-hour rest, dozens of mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race blew through Ophir on Thursday.  But on Wednesday afternoon it was quiet as race volunteers made final preparations. 

  17. 17 Iditarod 2012 - Leaders layover at Takotna checkpoint

    Many leading mushers in the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race took their mandatory, 24-hour rest periods in Takotna, a checkpoint along the trail known for its warm welcome of racers and dogs -- and particularly for its tasty pies.

  18. 18 Photos: 2012 Iditarod -- Leaders in to (and out of) McGrath

    With a full moon over the Iditarod Trail and northern lights dancing overhead, Aliy Zirkle continued to fend off challenges from several former champs.

  19. 19 Photos: Iditarod 2012 -- Nikolai

    The party's over. Bumps, bruises, broken sleds and baby making brought some mushers to a standstill as they made their way to Nikolai and beyond.

  20. 20 Photos: Iditarod 2012 -- Scenes from Puntilla Lake and Rainy Pass

    Iditarod teams grab a few hours of rest Monday at Puntilla Lake near the Rainy Pass checkpoint high in the Alaska Range. By mid-afternoon, they were headed for the Rohn checkpoint and Nikolai across the Farewell Burn. 

  21. 21 Photos: Iditarod mushers contend with Happy Steps and Rainy Pass

    Photos of Iditarod mushers as they race their dogs through the infamous Happy River Steps, one of the race's most hazardous sections, to the Rainy Pass checkpoint.

  22. 22 Photos: Iditarod 2012 begins in sunny Willow

    On Sunday, years of preparation, trial and error, defeat and victory culminated on a frozen lake in tiny Willow, Alaska, about 60 miles north of the state’s largest city, where Iditarod XL was officially under way.

  23. 23 Iditarod 2012 reader-submitted photos

    Teams are on the trail for the 40th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Check out our reader-submitted photo gallery.

  24. 24 Iditarod 2012: The Last Great Race roars through streets of Anchorage

    Sixty-six mushers competing in the 2012 Iditarod rolled through downtown Anchorage on Saturday as snow fell lightly on the exuberant crowd lining Fourth Avenue.

  25. 25 Iditarod 2012: Meet the mushers

    Sandwiched between Ray and Ryan Redington are six former champions, including defending champ and record-holder John Baker, and Rick Swenson, 61, the winningest musher in race history with five titles.

  26. 26 Photos: 2012 Iditarod vet checks

    Mushers and their teams piled into the Iditarod Headquarters parking lot for the 2012 Iditarod vet check on Wednesday.

  27. 27 2011 Iditarod photos: The best of the race

    John Baker of Kotzebue won the 2011 Iditarod in record time. The race in pictures.

  28. 28 2010 Iditarod slideshow

    The best photos from the 2010 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.