The 11th through 20th place mushers have crossed the Burled Arch in Nome in Iditarod XLI. Below is a list of their names and completion times.
11. Aaron Burmeister (9 days, 14 hours, 19 minutes, 2 seconds)
12. Ken Anderson (9 days, 16 hours, 9 minutes, 20 seconds)
13. Peter Kaiser (9 days, 17 hours, 36 minutes, 34 seconds)
14. Josh Cadzow (9 days, 18 hours, 7 minutes, 37 seconds)
15. Cim Smyth (9 days, 19 hours, 8 minutes, 22 seconds)
16. Paul Gebhardt (9 days, 19 hours, 9 minutes, 32 seconds)
17. Martin Buser (9 days, 20 hours, 1 minute, 33 seconds)
18. Jessie Royer (9 days, 20 hours, 20 minutes, 15 seconds)
19. Lance Mackey (9 days, 20 hours, 52 minutes, 14 seconds)
20. Ramey Smyth (9 days, 20 hours, 54 minutes, 56 seconds)
Aaron Burmeister, who led the race during certain stretches, got edged out of the top ten by DeeDee Jonrowe on the final run from Safety to Nome. Even so, he was gracious at the finish line, giving thanks to the veterinarians who helped care for the dogs at the checkpoints.
I mentioned earlier that Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom will likely get Rookie of the Year. Josh Cadzow from Fort Yukon, Alaska is another rookie who ran a nice race, coming in 14th. Cadzow was in the middle pack for much of the race before making his move outside of Unalakleet and jumping ahead 10 positions before the finish. He came in with a big smile and an even bigger soft drink in his hand.
Martin Buser finished 17th, which I’m sure is a big disappointment after leading for much of the race. Yet he was all smiles at the finish, getting a big hug and kiss from his wife. Talking to reporters afterwards, he was philosophical about his failed strategy this year:
It’s fun to be able after 40 Iditarod years to still come up with a new maneuver, you know, so, people try different things all the time. The problem, of course, is that in this day and age with the competition you only have one shot at it. In my old Iditarods, we would make a move and then say, oh, that didn’t work, well, let’s try this. So you could regroup and do something else. There was not that much competition and you had enough fuel in the tank to try different things. Here, if something doesn’t work, if your initial or your primary strategy doesn’t work, it’s not gonna happen.
Also having a disappointing race was Lance Mackey, who came in 19th. Mackey suffered a chipped tooth, a frostbitten toe, and the near death of his dog Wyatt that had to be flown out of Eagle Island checkpoint for emergency treatment (the dog is fine now). He also had a camera crew following him throughout the race, filming a documentary about his life. I don’t think he could have provided more dramatic material for them. Like Buser, however, Lance got a little love at the finish. Actually, big love. He was literally knocked off his sled under the Burled Arch by his girlfriend, who pinned him to the frozen ground and fed him smooch pie. I guess she missed him. Later, Lance saw Jamaican musher Newton Marshall in the crowd and jumped into Newton’s arms. I guess Lance missed Newton.
This year’s race was a race of minutes, and, at times, seconds. Twenty-four minutes separated the winner, Mitch Seavey, and second-place finisher, Aliy Zirkle. Joar Leifseth Ulsom beat Jake Berkowitz for 7th place by a mere 16 seconds. Cim Smyth bested Paul Gebhardt for 15th by a minute and ten seconds. Lance Mackey crossed the finish line two minutes and 42 seconds ahead of Ramey Smyth to take 19th place.
Apparently, Lance and Ramey had a little trouble getting onto Front Street, navigating through the cars and crowds. Probably not the way you want to finish a 1,000-mile race.