Rookie Jan Steves, 55, has lived her dream of finishing the race. She was awarded the Red Lantern and she extinguished the flame in the Widow’s Lamp, signifying that all the teams are safely off the trail.
Fifty-three teams completed the race this year, one musher was withdrawn due to injury, and thirteen scratched.
Dallas Seavey won a new truck and $50,000, which, after taxes, won’t make much of a dent in his annual dog food bill. Without individual and business sponsors and supporters, mushers could not field a team. You might be surprised at how much it costs to run the race.
And for the third straight year no dogs died.
Which didn’t stop the race detractors from continuing to write lies and half truths even as the Iditarod drew to a close and for days afterward. They continue to cite the hundreds of dead dogs, the bloody footprints in the snow, and the starvation in the kennels.
There is a woman who lives in an apartment in Miami who, together with PETA—which killed 97% of the animals entrusted to them—has taken it as a personal mission to stop the race.
They stay busy writing news releases which some lazy editors publish as factual feature stories. They search for events and quotations to take out of context. They write to lawmakers and sponsors urging them to withdraw support. They troll the internet to leave copy and paste comments on websites. (I got only one this year. I don’t delete them, but I’m sure they think I’m a lost cause.)
They have no direct knowledge of the dog sled culture even though they have received invitations to visit the kennels. Their source of information seems to be the novels of Jack London, which were written over one hundred years ago in a world far far away and long long ago.
So while hundreds of mushers with dreams, thousands of happy dogs, and millions of fans worldwide look forward to next year’s Iditarod, these small minded people are busy cranking out ugly fabrications and false charges.
It must suck to be them.