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From best checkpoint to rookie of the year, here are the Iditarod special award winners for 2018

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: March 19, 2018
  • Published March 18, 2018

Mitch Seavey mushes into Unalakleet on Sunday, March 11, 2018. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Jessie Royer was named most inspirational musher, Aliy Zirkle won the humanitarian award and Jessie Holmes was named rookie of the year at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race awards banquet in Nome on Sunday.

Here's the full list of winners:

PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award
Presented to the first musher to reach the McGrath checkpoint. Musher receives: A framed print by Jon Van Zyle, $500 flight credit.

Winner: Mitch Seavey

GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award
Given to the first musher to arrive in Iditarod. Musher receives: $3,000 in gold nuggets, commemorative trophy.

Winner: Joar Leifseth Ulsom

The Lakefront Anchorage First Musher to the Yukon Award
Presented to the first musher to the Yukon. For the 2018 race route, this award was given at the Anvik checkpoint. Musher receives: five course, gourmet dinner, $3,500 in one-dollar bills served on a commemorative gold pan.

Winner: Nicolas Petit

Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award
Presented to the first musher to reach the Kaltag checkpoint. Musher receives: $2,000, a certificate for 25 pounds of fresh-caught, Bristol Bay salmon.

Winner: Nicolas Petit

Northrim Bank Achieve More Award
Presented to the first musher to the White Mountain checkpoint. Musher receives: $2,500, one-of-a-kind print by Marianne Wieland.

Winner: Joar Leifseth Ulsom

Rookie of the Year Award
Presented since 1980 to the top-placing rookie. Musher receives: $2,000, commemorative trophy.

Winner: Jessie Holmes, who placed seventh overall with a time of 9 days, 23 hours, 39 minutes and 40 seconds.

Nome Kennel Club Fastest Time from Safety to Nome
Presented to the musher with the fastest time from the Safety checkpoint to the finish in Nome. Musher receives: $500, commemorative trophy.

Winner: Nicolas Petit, with a time of two hours and nine minutes between the two checkpoints.

Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Official Truck Award
Presented to the Iditarod champion since 1991. Musher receives: 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4, valued at $40,000

Winner: Joar Leifseth Ulsom

Matson Most Improved Musher Award
This award is presented to the musher who bettered his/her previous finish by the most places. Musher receives: $2,000 in cash, commemorative trophy.

Winner: Matthew Failor, who improved by 46 places between his 59th place finish in 2017 and 13th place finish in the 2018 race.

Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award
Presented to the musher demonstrating sportsmanship, the recipient of the Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award is chosen by fellow mushers. Musher receives: $3,000, commemorative trophy.

Winner: Scott Janssen

Most Inspirational Musher Award
Presented to the most inspirational musher as chosen by fellow mushers. Musher receives: Entry fee for the 2019 Iditarod

Winner: Jessie Royer

Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award
Presented to the person who emulates "Herbie: The Shishmaref Cannon Ball" in his/her attitude on the trail. The recipient is chosen by race staff and officials. Musher receives: $1,049 in "pocket change" inside a Northern Air Cargo jacket

Winner: Richie Diehl

Golden Clipboard Award
Presented since 2001 to the most outstanding checkpoint, this award is chosen by the competing mushers. The checkpoint receives: A commemorative plaque

Winner: Shaktoolik

Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award
Presented to a musher that demonstrates outstanding dog care while remaining competitive throughout the race, as chosen by the veterinary team. Musher receives: Entry fee for the 2019 Iditarod, a commemorative trophy

Winner: Aliy Zirkle

City of Nome Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness Award
Originally presented by the late Lolly Medley, a Wasilla harness maker and one of two women to run the second Iditarod in 1974, the recipient is chosen by mushers and is awarded to the most outstanding lead dog. Musher receives: Embroidered gold-colored harness

Winner: Russeren, Joar Leifseth Ulsom's lead dog, a four-year-old male who led Ulsom's team to an Iditarod championship in 9 days and 12 hours.

Red Lantern Award
Presented since 1973, the Red Lantern Award is given to the final finisher of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Musher receives: Red lantern trophy

Winner: Magnus Kaltenborn

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