Ellen Halverson of Wasilla is the only musher in Iditarod history to finish last more than once — she's also scratched four times. The Minnesota transplant hopes the 2016 Iditarod brings a better showing and no Red Lantern to indicate another last-place finish. 

Tegan Hanlon
“I’ve got a new girlfriend, I’ve got a new dog team, I’ve got new sponsors and I’ve got a new attitude,” Mackey said Wednesday during a fundraising dinner for his kennel at Club Paris in downtown Anchorage. Tegan Hanlon
With successful races and thousands of training miles under the watchful eye of former Iditarod champion Dean Osmar behind her, Kim Franklin of Great Britain is convinced she can get her team to Nome. Joseph Robertia

Despite being one of the sport’s more accomplished dog drivers during his best years, Sebastian Schnuelle decided after the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race— in which he recorded his fourth-straight top-10 finish — that he was done. The racing grind had become too much.

Scott Jensen

The Iditarod Trail’s most famous wild hair could be back on the trail to Nome in 2017.

Scott Jensen

Three-time Iditarod Sled Dog Race champion Dallas Seavey uses a 50-foot treadmill in a refrigerated trailer to train his dogs during the off-season.

Alaska Dispatch News
The Iditarod is just a dog race. Just a big game. But to so many people, it's much more. It's a hobby, it's a passion, it's a career, it's a way of life. Then to some people, it is life. It's who they are. I know because I'm related to them.Danny Seavey
As of Wednesday night, Wasilla’s Ellen Halverson -- the only two-time Red Lantern Award winner in race history -- was in good shape to claim a record third last-place trophy.Matt Tunseth

Ever wonder why mushers do what they do? How they endure the cold, and darkness for 1,000 miles along the Iditarod Trail? In 2014, Alaska Dispatch News created a musher profile series featuring some of the top Iditarod mushers in the state. Learn about their training methods, their dogs, and their unbridled determination.

Tara Young
Mushing has been a surprising venture for Eureka musher Brent Sass, who has wholeheartedly accepted the wilderness lifestyle many mushers have rejected in recent years. Sass claimed his first Yukon Quest championship in February. Suzanna Caldwell