Ulsom has a commanding lead in the world’s most famous sled dog race, and is now only 77 miles (123 kilometers) from the finish line in Nome.
One of my main motivations is to pass along the traditions to my sons, Reitan said. Its not that many young Inupiaq people that are dog mushing anymore; its hard to get into it, so to keep our team going and keep the traditions alive, thats very meaningful. I think lots of people appreciate that we are trying to do that.
He arrived in White Mountain just before 8 a.m. AKST. For being first to the checkpoint, he picked up a $2,500 check. “Wow, that’s fantastic,” he told sponsors in a video posted on the Iditarod website.
Then he switched to his native tongue to speak to each of his dogs before laying out straw over the snow for them to bed down for a snooze.
Back home, theres more mushers starting teams and racing, Williams said. Thats a really good feeling and good to see, and as far as Iditarod goes, doesnt look like theres a whole lot of Native mushers.
Ulsom and the dogs will take a mandatory eight-hour rest before resuming the trail.
He arrived in the checkpoint with a nearly three-hour lead on the second place musher, Nic Petit, a native of France living south of Anchorage.
As Mike Williams Jr. departed the Iditarod checkpoint of Takotna at 11:45 a.m. Thursday morning with 13 dogs, he said he was happy with his position in the middle of the pack.
Barring any catastrophes, Ulsom, a native of Norway who has been living in Willow, Alaska, the dog mushing capital of the United States, is on track to reach the finish line sometime early Wednesday morning. The winner will be awarded about $50,000 and a new pickup.
If Ulsom wins, he will become the third Iditarod winner born outside the United States. Martin Buser, a Swiss native who has lived in Alaska more than three decades, became a U.S. citizen after winning his fourth Iditarod in 2002. Another Norwegian, Robert Sorlie, won the race in 2003 and 2005.
Young mushers: meet Iditarods next generation
Defending champion Mitch Seavey is in third place. If he doesn’t win, it will be the first time since 2011 that Seavey or his son, Dallas, hasn’t won the race.
Joar Ulsom was nearing the checkpoint in White Mountain, where mushers and dogs must take a mandatory eight-hour rest before making the final 77-mile (123-kilometer) push to the finish line in Nome.
The Latest: Norwegian in last mandatory Iditarod rest period
Dallas Seavey, a four-time champion, withdrew from this year’s Iditarod in protest after race organizers said his dog team tested positive for an opioid painkiller after last year’s race, when he finished second. Seavey denied giving his drugs tramadol, and decided to run a race in Norway instead of the Iditarod.
Iditarod Day 9: Top 3 mushers race to White Mountain
Sixty-seven mushers began the nearly 1,000 mile (1,609 kilometer) race across the Alaska wilderness March 4 in Willow. Since then, five mushers have scratched.
Lars Monsens lead dog jumps in anticipation of leaving the Nikolai checkpoint on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
I hope that detractors of the Iditarod have seen Loren Holmes great photo (March 7) of a lead dogs enthusiasm about racing. Of course, every effort must be made to keep the dogs healthy, comfortable and getting rest. But opponents of the race have no idea that dogs actually love to run — especially dogs that are bred, trained and rewarded for it.
I find the reasons given in the March 8 front page piece concerning Chugach buying ML&P unconvincing. Until I can be convinced that Chugachs assuming a half-billion dollar debt and not laying off any workers, I will vote “no” on the deal. I want Chugach, of which I am a member, to explain why that would be in my best interest. Its easy to see why ML&P wants to unload their utility. But I see no advantage for Chugach to buy it. It would make sense to pay off the ML&P debt if Chugach didnt have to pay anything for the utility itself.
A year or two ago, I was exiting the restroom of a prestigious hotel. As I opened the door to go out, a young man walked in. Startled, I said, “This is the womens.” She said calmly, “I know.” I have thought so often of that young person and am grateful for the change in perspective the incident gave me. For him, I will be voting “no” on Proposition 1. Please join me.
In the Legislature, the plastic bag ban measure, House Bill 264 ” … has sparked a debate over whether states or cities should be empowered to make the rules over plastic bags.” I agree with Wasilla GOP Sen. David Wilson who wants to “let local communities make that decision.”
This brings to mind something I read in the paper recently, which is that the Legislature has apparently taken any power away from Alaska cities and municipalities with reference to Uber and Lyft. It seems to me that Anchorage and Bethel, Fairbanks and Juneau and any other Alaska community with taxi service should be the ones to regulate such taxi services (but I suppose Lyft and Uber claim, of course, to be something other than a taxi service.)I have to wonder how David Wilson and other legislators voted on that one.
In any event, the Legislatures action overriding municipal powers like taxi regulation is what I would call state overreach. Does that word “overreach” have a familiar ring? Does the shoe fit?
Didnt know whether to laugh, cry or be just plain disgusted when I read Sen. Kellys March 7 op-ed proposal to impose work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Think Ill go for disgusted. Consider all that extra pay and per diem Pete Kelly (and some friends) have accumulated for prolonging three legislative sessions in their quest for cutting essential public services while imposing what amounts to very regressive taxes on Alaskans that can least afford it in order to avoid a reasonable fair progressive tax. All this not to mention destabilizing Alaskas economic health and financial ratings in the process. If were going to have work requirements for “receiving public benefits,”, lets start with Pete Kelly (and some friends).
As Kelly points out “work opens doors to a larger community of friends” rather than a “life of government dependency (which) can be isolating and unfulfilling” I believe Sen. Kelly (along with some friends) would indeed benefit and contribute enormously to Alaska from getting down to work. Of course, if they just dont want to work, just receive benefits, maybe we, the public, need to remove them from the rolls.