Willow musher Cindy Abbott wins Red Lantern award to close out 2017 Iditarod

Musher Cindy Abbott finished her second Iditarod race Saturday, reclaiming the Red Lantern award that goes to the last musher to the finish line in Nome.

Abbott and her dog team finished the 1,000-mile race in 12 days, 2 hours, 57 minutes and 31 seconds. That was four days slower than the record-setting pace set by three-time winner Mitch Seavey, who finished the run from Fairbanks to Nome in 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes.

Abbott first won the Red Lantern in 2015. The Iditarod Trail Committee called the annual award "a symbol of perseverance" in a statement Saturday. It will be presented to Abbott in Nome on Sunday during the Iditarod awards banquet.

Abbot, from Willow, is recognized by her orange-and-blue bib and team colors, a nod to her alma mater, California State University, Fullerton.

She finished at 2:57 p.m. Saturday with 12 dogs in the harness, capping the race across the Alaska wilderness that began with 71 teams.

Last year's Red Lantern winner was Mary Helwig, also from Willow.