This article by Tegan Hanlon was originally published by Alaska Public Media. It was republished with permission through a partnership with KNOM.
Jessie Holmes and his 12-dog team were first into Anvik early Friday, winning the Iditarod’s First Musher to the Yukon Award.
Anvik is about 510 miles into the 1,000-mile competition, and it’s the first checkpoint on the Yukon River.
Holmes pulled in at 4:03 a.m. His award included a five-course gourmet meal prepared by the executive chef at Marx Bros. Cafe, Jack Amon. On the menu: lobster bisque, Caesar salad, filet mignon and cheesecake.
“It’s as good as it sounds and it looks,” Holmes told the Iditarod Insider. “I’m getting my cheesecake from the wrong place — Costco.” He laughed.
Holmes planned to take his mandatory eight-hour stop in Anvik. Mushers need to take one eight-hour stop at a checkpoint on the Yukon River or Shageluk.
Next into Anvik were Nic Petit and his 10 dogs at 6:54 a.m. followed by Brent Sass and his 11-dog team at 7:04 a.m. Richie Diehl blew through an hour later and then came Pete Kaiser at 8:33 a.m.
Image at top: Jessie Holmes pulls up his snow hook and departs Nikolai on Tuesday. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)