Best of Iditarod 2013 photos and videos

Loren Holmes
Loren Holmes photo

On March 2, 66 mushers behind teams of yapping, energetic dogs rolled down Fourth Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska, culminating years of preparation, trial and error, defeat and victory. Saturday was for show, but on Sunday, real racing began on a frozen lake in tiny Willow, Alaska, one of the state's unofficial dog-mushing capitals about 70 miles north of the state’s largest city. Defending champion Dallas Seavey, at 25 the youngest winner in Iditarod history, was the 48th to leave.

Nine days later, it was Dallas Seavey's father who crossed the finish line in Nome before any other racers, becoming the oldest musher to win the Last Great Race. A half-hour later, Aliy Zirkle arrived in one of the closest races in recent memory. It was her second year in a row as runner-up despite a fevered push at the end of the race that threatened to be a photo finish to the Burled Arch.

This year's Iditarod field included three four-time champions: Martin Buser, Jeff King and Lance Mackey. But it was missing the only five-time winner, Rick Swenson, who pulled out just weeks before the start.

Here are our best photos and videos of the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

  1. 1 Photos: Seavey holds off Zirkle to claim his second Iditarod

    One of the most exciting Iditarods in recent memory finally came to a conclusion on Tuesday night, as Mitch Seavey passed under the Burled Arch in Nome to claim his second Iditarod title ahead of two-time runner-up Aliy Zirkle in a race that came down to the wire.

  2. 2 Iditarod 2013: Photos from the road to Nome

    On late Tuesday, mushers Mitch Seavey and Aliy Zirkle battled their way to the Nome finish line of the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. From the air, Alaska Dispatch photographer Loren Holmes captured the action.

  3. 3 Photos: Iditarod passes through White Mountain

    On Tuesday, Iditarod musher Aliy Zirkle came in to the White Mountain checkpoint at 5:24 a.m. -- just 13 minutes behind 2004 champion Mitch Seavey, who leads this year's race. The finish line is just 77 miles away.

  4. 4 Photos: Koyuk bustles with Iditarod activity

    During the early morning of March 11, as former Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey rested his dog team in the Alaska village of Koyuk, four-time champion Jeff King came through the checkpoint and grabbed the lead.

  5. 5 Iditarod 2013 - More racers arrive in Unalakleet

    Mitch Seavey of Sterling was first to the Unalakleet checkpoint, ski poling furiously as about 100 people watched him cruise in 15 minutes ahead of Aaron Burmeister of Nome.

  6. 6 Iditarod 2013 - Leaders make it to the coast

    In the past three days of racing, all of the lead teams seem to have had a good run followed by an average run. Without a dominating team, all can be considered legitimate threats.

  7. 7 Iditarod 2013 - Race comes to Kaltag

    Temperatures were cooling from highs in the 40 yesterday, but the sun still blazed down on the teams in the small community and the last checkpoint on the Yukon River.

  8. 8 Photos: Iditarod 2013 leaders in Anvik

    On Friday, the leaders of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race gathered in Anvik, the first checkpoint on the mighty Yukon River after tough push from the abandoned gold-mining town of Iditarod.

  9. 9 Who knew? Iditarod Trail teeming with celebrity lookalikes

    Doesn't take much to achieve celebrity status on the frontier: TV news personalities, folk singers, oil chieftains and Iditarod Trail racers are about the biggest superstars Alaska can muster. Meet Alaska's celebrity lookalikes.

  10. 10 Iditarod photos: Martin Buser first to Anvik

    Martin Buser, the four-time Iditarod champion from Big Lake, Alaska, reached the mighty Yukon River early Friday morning when he pulled into the Anvik checkpoint at 2:17 a.m.

  11. 11 Photos: Anvik church bells and Iditarod 2013

    In the Alaska village of Anvik, the church bell signals the arrival of the first musher during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

  12. 12 Iditarod 2013 - Wet wakeup call along warm trail

    Overflow delivered a wet wakeup call on the Iditarod Trail between the ghost-town checkpoint of Iditarod and Anvik, first stop on the Yukon River.

  13. 13 Photos: The ghost town of Iditarod, Alaska

    In its heyday, Iditarod lured as many as 10,000 visitors a year. But that was a century ago.

  14. 14 Photos: Iditarod 2013 in Takotna

    Iditarod mushers often like taking their long breaks in Takotna because hundreds of miles of desolate trail devoid of human settlements lies ahead.

  15. 15 Symphony of sled dogs on Iditarod Trail (+VIDEO)

    At the remote Alaska village of Takotna, dogs howled in the night Wednesday during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

  16. 16 Photos: Iditarod passes through McGrath

    Weather delays can sometimes turn out enjoyably, especially if you're lucky enough to in the Iditarod Trail checkpoint of McGrath, Alaska.

  17. 17 Photos: Alaska Dispatch flies Iditarod Trail

    The last run of day three of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was to be a night flight, shuttling journalists. Conditions for the short hop were high overcast, no moon.

  18. 18 Iditarod 2013 -- Dalzell Gorge and Rohn

    Two weeks each March, a 280-square-foot public use cabin deep in the Alaska wilderness transforms from forgotten outpost into vortex of wild-eyed and willful athletes out to conquer Alaska with sled dogs, snowmachines or Fatbikes.

  19. 19 Photos: Takotna, the friendliest Iditarod checkpoint

    In Takotna, Alaska, many Iditarod mushers will take their mandatory 24-hour layover in this Athabascan village.

  20. 20 Iditarod 2013 - Over Rainy Pass

    Iditarod mushers slowly made their way up and over Rainy Pass, then down into the sometimes treacherous Dalzell Gorge Tuesday, with leaders pushing on toward Nikolai and Takotna overnight.

  21. 21 Photos: Iditarod 2013 passes through Nikolai

    Mushers in the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race passed through Nikolai on Tuesday, the first traditional village along the trail and an oasis for mushers and dog teams tired from the climb into the Alaska Range to the south.

  22. 22 Iditarod 2013: Scenes from Puntilla Lake

    A look at Iditarod racers as they head into Puntilla Lake, and an update on the trail they've got to expect on the other side.

  23. 23 Photos: Mushers on the Yentna superhighway

    Mushers on the Yentna superhighway during the 2013 Iditarod.

  24. 24 Photos: 2013 Iditarod restart in Willow

    Mild weather greeted mushers on Sunday as they pushed off in orderly fashion from the Iditarod’s official restart line in Willow to begin the chaotic, grueling 1,000-mile journey to Nome.

  25. 25 Photos: 2013 Iditarod ceremonial start in Anchorage

    A mild day in Alaska's largest city made for a jubilant kickoff of the Last Great Race, as Iditarod contenders left downtown Anchorage to eventually wind their way toward ultimate mushing glory.

  26. 26 Iditarod 2013: Meet the mushers

    The two weeks of Iditarod is much like planning a long vacation: you start to prioritize work and family as to allow sufficient time each day to check on your favorite mushers, compare strategies, and second-guess decisions made in remote, far-off locations of Alaska.