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The Last Great Race returns

In March, it was the news in Western Alaska: once again, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was passing through our region. It was an exciting time for our listeners and staff, and KNOM was at the forefront of coverage for this inspiring and unique competition.

The Iditarod – the “Last Great Race” – is a 1,000-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome; the finish line is just blocks from KNOM studios. The race is nearly as old as our mission; we’ve been covering the race every year since its inception in 1973.

Thanks to your support, we were able to bring the 2013 running of this epic race to our listeners, for whom the Iditarod is not just a sporting event but, also, an inspiration and a vital connection to traditional culture. Dog “mushing,” or the running of sled dogs, has deep roots in Alaska Native culture: a culture that both KNOM and the Iditarod celebrate.

KNOM’s coverage of the 2013 Iditarod included regular updates on the progress of the racers, or “mushers,” as they traversed the diverse and rugged Alaskan wilderness towards Nome. Many of the checkpoints through which the mushers passed were communities within KNOM’s listening range – further underscoring the importance of our race coverage.

As we’ve done for many years, we covered the Iditarod from the studio and from the trail, with news reporter Laureli Kinneen following the mushers, checkpoint by checkpoint, from Anchorage to Nome. (Laureli’s trip was subsidized with underwriting from local and regional organizations; their generosity made her on-location reporting possible.)

Back in the studio, KNOM rallied to cover the race with updates both on-air and online; regular broadcasts featured updates on mushers’ positions, weather conditions, and interviews, while our On the Trail blog showcased photos (a few of which are included here), audio from the finish line, and lots more.

To sample our coverage from this year’s Iditarod, we encourage you to visit our blog. Thank you so much for making this highlight of our broadcasting year possible!

Photos: the sled dogs of Iditarod 2013 champion Mitch Seavey pause a few miles outside the finish line in Nome and are silhouetted by the lights of the KNOM “spotter” vehicle; Laureli reports an Iditarod finish, live, from the finish line; musher Ramey Smyth – renowned for his dogs’ speed – mushes his team the final few feet of the race; a sled dog from the team of rookie Richie Diehl.

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This article is part of the April 2013 edition of our newsletter, The Nome Static.

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Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.