780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

‘Pretty Amazing That We’re Here’: Morgan & Olds Win Second Iron Dog in a Row

Two men in heavy winter gear stand next to snowmachines (snowmobiles) near a green-and-yellow arch that marks the finish line of the Iron Dog Snowmachine Race.
Mike Morgan and Chris Olds with their snowmachines at the Fairbanks finish line of the 2019 Iron Dog on Saturday, Feb. 23. Photo: Tim Bodony; used with permission.

When all was said and done, Saturday morning before 11am, Mike Morgan and Chris Olds crossed the finish line of this year’s Iron Dog in about 34 hours and 30 minutes, making this their second win in two consecutive races. Morgan has won twice so far, but Olds has now claimed first four times in his career.

At the finish in Fairbanks, Olds told KIYU radio he’s still in shock about joining a limited club of four-time winners like Todd Palin.

“It’s pretty crazy. I mean, all of those are legends in this race, for sure, so I’m definitely honored to be within that group. There are a lot of good guys that could win this race, and a lot could go wrong in this race. It’s really hard to put it all together, so it’s pretty amazing that we’re here.”

Olds won the Iron Dog in 2010 and 2011 with partner Tyler Huntington. As his newer teammate, Mike Morgan says this winning duo makes it work out on the trail. They held onto the lead for the majority of this race.

“The chemistry is great. We’re both very mechanically inclined, and that’s a huge part of the race, huge aspect, and obviously, we’re both good riders, and we’re good at keeping a level head when things go bad. We’re good at taking the positives out of any situation and making things happen, and that’s what you’ve got to do: you’ve got to be able to make decisions on the fly, and if plan A doesn’t work, then plan B, and you’ve got to roll with things.”

Morgan and Olds both rode Indy XC 600 Polaris snowmachines from Deshka Landing to Nome and then Fairbanks. According to the race winners, they spent very little time “wrenching” or repairing their sleds, which saved them a big chunk of time in the standings.

Joining forces for their first Iron Dog together were top-placed rookies Amos Cruise of McGrath and Jarvis Miller of Nome, who finished fifth overall in just over 37 hours. Miller says this snowmachine race is very different from the experiences he’s had in sprint races.

“This is a whole different ball game. This is a total mental game, this race. And, you know, throttle control mind-set, and you have to be prepared in this stuff. And it’s just a different game for me, a new learning experience, and I’m glad to get this one out of the way.”

Both Cruise and Miller reiterated that it takes two racers to accomplish this feat, but there’s certainly more people involved behind the scenes as well.

“My brother, he was a big help, and his fiancée Chelsea Reader. They were a huge help making all the meals and prep time. Thank you, Chelsea, for letting me steal my brother in the shop time and parents, my girlfriend, daughter. Everybody back in Nome for all the support. Q-Trucking and Charlie Reader, there’s a long list that I don’t want to forget, but to everybody that has helped us out: ‘We appreciate everything.’”

Two-time champ Morgan also expressed his gratitude and thanks to his Mom (his biggest fan), his family, and everyone from his hometown of Nome who supported him.

When asked about their plans for next year’s Iron Dog, Cruise and Miller responded without hesitation…

“Yeah, we’re ready to go again; gas up!”

According to race archives, 2019 Iron Dog champions Morgan and Olds finished the 2,000-mile race with the fastest trail time since the early 1990s.

Image at top: Mike Morgan and Chris Olds with their snowmachines at the Fairbanks finish line of the 2019 Iron Dog on Saturday, Feb. 23. Photo: Tim Bodony; used with permission.

Share this story


Recent Posts

KNOM Radio to Host First-Ever Music Fest

KNOM Radio Mission will host its first-ever Music Fest Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15. The event, hosted at KNOM’s Back Yard, will be a great opportunity for the Bering Strait region to gather and celebrate the start of summer. Admission to the event is free.  The two-day Music Fest will feature

Read More »

June 13: Rick Thoman’s Climate Highlight for Western Alaska

The following is a transcript from Rick Thoman’s weekly “Climate Highlight for Western Alaska” provided to KNOM Radio. Thoman is a Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sea ice has not completely melted out of the Bering Sea, there

Read More »

Teller Man Arrested for Terroristic Threatening

A Teller man has been arrested and transported to Nome’s Anvil Mountain Correctional Center following allegations of threatening to burn down a house, according to an affidavit from Alaska State Troopers. The affidavit reports that Chester Topkok, 26, was reported by his niece, Belinda Smith, who called Troopers on June

Read More »

Charity Lewis Crowned Miss ANB 2024

Charity Lewis was crowned 2024’s Miss Alaska Native Brotherhood (ANB) at the pageant held on June 12. The event held at Nome’s Mini Convention Center showcased the cultural heritage of two contestants, Victoria Gray and Charity Lewis. Both participated in Miss ANB for the first time.  The pageant began with

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

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.