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Team 39, Barber and Lapham, champion 2024 Iron Dog

Team 39 won the 2024 Iron Dog.

February 26, 2024

Ava White, News Reporter

Teams competing in what’s known as the toughest and longest snowmachine race in the world, the Iron Dog, reached the finish line in Big Lake, about an hour north of Anchorage, yesterday. The purse for the race is $224,000, the largest in Iron Dog history.

The race started with 24 teams last weekend (Feb. 17), but only 15 crossed the finish line. Racers have battled high winds and whiteout conditions across over 2,500 miles to get here. 

Team 39, veteran racers Cody Barber and Brett Lapham, claimed victory as they crossed the finish line Sunday afternoon (Feb. 25). They completed the course in 52 hours and 36 minutes.  

The duo has been competing since 2015, but it’s their first win.

Barber said there was a lot of pressure from other teams to win first place. He said he’s been looking forward to seeing his kids at the finish line, who were eagerly waiting for him. 

The race’s executive director, Mike Vasser, said this year was a great success. He said the roster included several young racers, like team 41, 18 year old Haakon Wold and 19 year-old Tyler Reese.

“There’s a lot of young kids in the race that are going to finish it, it looks like, rookie teams. Which is great to see as the development of this race continues to move into the future.”

Teams left Whiskey Bravo, the last checkpoint before the finish, just minutes apart from each other. 

“It’s nice to watch this ending with about eight, nine minutes separating them,” Vasser said.

Barber and Lapham finished just after noon. Team 14, Casey Boylan and Bryan Leslie followed about 15 minutes behind them. In third was Team six, Mike Morgan and Bradley Kishbaugh. 

The top five team’s sleds were Polaris, which Vasser said was the “first time in a long time.”

Photo at top: Cody Barber getting sprayed with a bottle of champagne after crossing the finish line Feb. 25. (Ava White/ KNOM)

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