(This first photo was taken by a K300 volunteer. The rest in this entry are mine.)
His mother urged the crowd to cheer for him as he was coming down the shoot. Judy is one of the statewide mentors that works with our local school district, LKSD. She has two from her family in this race; her husband Martin has taken the K300 trophy fours years and was running in this race along with their 22 year old son, Rohn.
While Zach Fansler, the K300 manager, interviewed Rohn he asked how he and his father, choose dogs when they have them all in the same kennel (Happy Trails Kennel). Rohn replied, "Basically, we just take turns. He chooses one. I choose one."
John Baker, last year's Iditarod winner, came in second at 12:13 p.m. today.
Paul Gebhart was third, in at 12:29 p.m. He's last year's champ. I took a friend, Vicki, home & barely missed him in the shoot. But, when I got back to the river I just sat in the car at the finish line to watch Gebhart be interviewed & put his dogs away. I was so pampered sitting in the truck listening to the interview on the radio, as I watched through my windshield.
Richie Diehl from Aniak, last year's humanitarian award taker, came in 4th place, arriving at 1:42 with 12 dogs. He aspires to run the Iditarod next year.
It was nice to be able to stay updated about the race with the GPS tracker system, new this year. Otherwise, KYUK on the radio, official website, FaceBook pages, and headquarters were littered with updates. This has the two remaining mushers, of 16 total, Mike Williams Sr. (finished at 8:48 p.m.) and Isaac Underwood (scratched).
Tomorrow is the banquet where prizes will be given. Because I volunteered a four hour shift, they gave me a ticket to go. I'm excited to hear some of their trail stories.