WEDNESDAY 11 AM UPDATE
Alaska's politicians weighed in on Mitch Seavey's Iditarod victory in the form of official congratulatory messages.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski wins the garland of yellow roses for having the fastest team. An atta-boy email from her office was sent at 10:39 p.m. ADT Tuesday, the very minute Seavey's team crossed the finish line in Nome.
Rep. Don Young had a middle-of-the-pack finish. The email from his office arrived at 6:38 a.m. Wednesday.
Gov. Sean Parnell's team must have hit a storm or something. His email showed up at 10:09 a.m. Wednesday, nearly 12 hours after Seavey's finish.
Taking the Red Lantern was Sen. Mark Begich. His official message of congratulations arrived Wednesday afternoon in his weekly Begich Minute video.
Although to be fair, Parnell and Begich both sent Facebook shout outs earlier, Parnell's around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and Begich's around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Four-time champion Jeff King paced the after-midnight crowd Wednesday in the 41st Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
King grabbed third place and led a parade of early morning finishers who reached Nome in time to make the top 10. The first 10 had all reached Front Street by 4:30 a.m.
King finished at 12:21 a.m., a little less than two hours behind winner Mitch Seavey of Sterling, for the 18th top-10 finish of his storied career.
This was a bounce-back race for the Denali Park musher, who scratched for the first time in his career last year and roared back this year to win the Kusko 300 and become a player in the late stage of the Iditarod, leading the race out of Koyuk. He finished with 11 dogs.
The rest of the top 10:
• Fourth-place Dallas Seavey, last year's champion, who got to Nome nearly three hours after dad Mitch. Seavey came on strong on the final third of the race; he was 15th when the race hit the Yukon River and he rose steadily from there.
On the final 67-mile run from White Mountain to Nome, the 26-year-old from Willow registered what is, so far, this year's fastest time: 2 hours, 42 minutes, with seven dogs in harness. His dad did it in 3:02.
• Fifth-place Ray Redington Jr. of Willow, who is in the top five for the third straight year. Redington, the grandson of race founder Joe Redington Sr. was sixth last year and seventh the year before.
• Sixth-place Nicolas Petit of Girdwood, the 2011 Rookie of the Year who made a giant leap forward this year. In his two previous races, he placed 29th and 28th.
• Seventh-place Joar Leifseth-Ulsom of Norway, this year's Rookie of the Year.
• Eighth-place Jake Berkowitz of Big Lake, who drove 15 dogs across the finish, by far the biggest team to make it to Nome so far.
• Ninth-place Sonny Lindner of Two Rivers, who is back in the top 10 for the first time since 2003. Lindner, 63, did his first Iditarod in 1978 and has 17 finishes to his credit, six in the top 10.
• Tenth-place DeeDee Jonrowe of Willow, who racked up the 16th top-10 finish of her career. This marks back-to-back 10th-place finishes for Jonrowe, 59.
Just missing the top 10 was Nome musher Aaron Burmeister, who finished a little less than an hour behind Jonrowe.
Video: Mitch Seavey and Aily Zirkel at Iditarod finish line
By BETH BRAGG