Iditarod returns to Nome for 50th race

The burled arch in Nome being prepared for the Iditarod finish.

Forty-nine mushers are registered for the 1,000 mile race from Willow to Nome. Last year’s champion and four-time winner Dallas Seavey came back for more. The 2017-19 Iditarod winners, Mitch Seavey, Joar Leifseth-Ulsom and Pete Kaiser also returned. Four-time winner Martin Buser joined the mix for his 39th Iditarod race. Aaron Burmeister, the only Nome representative this year, looks for his first Iditarod win.

While the race has return to a normal route set to finish in Nome, there are still some alterations due to the pandemic. Mushers must be fully vaccinated and tested for COVID-19. There will be isolation space available at checkpoints if needed, and mushers are required to wear masks when anyone outside of the Iditarod bubble is present. The Takotna community opted out of being a checkpoint to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Tune into KNOM, 780 AM, 96.1 FM to hear daily race updates and trail reports beginning with coverage of the ceremonial start in Anchorage on Saturday, March 5 at 10 a.m. The race restarts in Willow on March 6 at 2 p.m. After that, KNOM’s race updates will air at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. seven days a week until the finishers banquet in Nome.

Photo at top: The Iditarod last finished in Nome in 2020. Photo by KJ McElwee, KNOM.