March 13, 2003


Your Iditarod Update for today.

Norwegian firefighter Robert Sorlie won the 2003 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race last night, crossing the finish line in a little more than nine days and 16 hours.

As The Anchorage Daily News reported:

With eight Norwegian huskies pulling strong, his 40-pound, aluminum and carbon-fiber dog sled slipped under the burled arch at 1:47 a.m. Alaska's Ramy Brooks of Healy, the nearest competition, was still miles back on the trail but solidly in second. Brooks crossed the finish line at 3:37 a.m.

Behind Brooks, the best Alaska huskies and the best mushers in the world -- including three past Iditarod champs with a dozen victories between them -- stretched back along the Bering Sea coast for 100 miles.

Having grabbed an early lead in the rerouted Iditarod of 2003, Sorlie's team hung on to beat them all. The sweet victory was good for $68,571 and a new Dodge diesel truck.

The next big event in the race will be, of course, when the last musher crosses the line in Nome. There's no telling when that will be. The prize for being the last musher is known as "The Red Lantern" award.

Right now the odds-on favorite for the lantern is Russell Bybee, a rookie musher. He's in 49th place and still mushing on the Yukon River. His last checkpoint was at Eagle Island.

To give you a sense for how far behind he is, Robert Sorlie passed this checkpoint five days ago.

Posted by Jeff at March 13, 2003 11:04 AM | TrackBack