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John Thain

Stories by John Thain

  • Iditarod

    The musher in black and his ‘top secret’ carbon fiber dogsled

    by John Thain on Mar 03, 22:51

    No matter who you’re cheering for on the Iditarod trail, you’ve got to admit that Dallas Seavey is going to be tough to beat. In 2016, we saw him take his fourth Iditarod championship, and many are wondering if this year will make five? If you’re going to do something, do it well. That’s Dallas Seavey’s […]

  • Iditarod

    Mitch Seavey prepares to take on his toughest Iditarod competitor: his son

    by John Thain on Mar 02, 21:20

    If dogs are man’s best friends, then Mitch Seavey is a popular guy. His dog lot in sterling is home to about 140 Alaskan huskies. Of those, Seavey must choose just 16 to accompany him on this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. “The cuts that are going to be hard are the younger ones,” […]

  • Iditarod

    Jeff King aims for fifth Iditarod title

    by John Thain on Mar 01, 7:22

    What’s a musher without their team? “I’ve got a team of Navy Seals,” Jeff King said of his dogs. Like any good relationship, King and his team have a relationship that works both ways.  “It’s no fun to me if I don’t like them and they don’t like me, and I don’t like them,” King explained. Training […]

  • Military

    Alaskans work out to end veteran suicide

    by John Thain on Feb 22, 19:15

    A special workout took place on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson Wednesday in an effort to raise awareness for suicide and depression. On average, 22 of our nation’s veterans take their own lives every day, according to Active Heroes. This workout, organized by 907 Crossfit, aims to get people together and put the issue out in the […]

  • Lifestyle

    Remembering Ronnie: ‘The Estate of a Beautiful Lady’

    by John Thain on Nov 11, 17:33

    Handmade signs and flyers were the first clue that the sale at Valley View Baptist Church was about much more than money. It was about the generosity of a woman named Veronica Wurtz, better known as Ronnie. She spent 59 years with her husband Ron. Together they were known as Ron and Ronnie. “My wife had big […]

  • Arctic Man 2016

    Arctic Man snowmachine parade might have beaten a world record

    by John Thain on Apr 08, 21:42

    It’s not uncommon to see a lot of snowmachines buzzing around Arctic Man, but on Friday they gathered for a purpose – they were trying to beat a world record. In a late-Friday update, organizers said they believe they accomplished their goal. According to the “Guinness Book of World Records,” the previous record for the […]

  • Arctic Man 2016

    Arctic Man postpones Thursday races due to weather

    by John Thain on Apr 07, 17:40

    The Arctic Man race was forced to shut down events Thursday halfway through the race as the weather took a turn for the worse. The weather started out good, but after about an hour of racing turned poor. Visibility was the biggest issue, the flat lighting made it difficult for racers to see where the […]

  • Arctic Man 2016

    Avalanche forecasters concerned about risk for Arctic Man participants

    by John Thain on Apr 06, 23:08

    There’s already been one avalanche-related death near the Arctic Man event this year, and the Alaska Avalanche Information Center warns there could be more. On Sunday, a snowmachiner triggered an avalanche in the Hoodoo mountains. He made it out alive, but his riding partner, Claire Sundgren, was buried and killed. Avalanche forecasters say riders need […]

  • Iditarod

    Warm conditions make for wet crossings on Iditarod trail

    by John Thain on Mar 08, 15:08

    The Iditarod trail is known to throw just about everything at mushers and their teams. Monday, it was a surprise thanks to warmer weather — an afternoon swim was added to the Iditarod schedule. Mushers were forced to cross the open water before Rainy Pass, managing any way they could. Jeff King hit the obstacle full speed […]

  • Only in Alaska

    Lance Mackey: These dogs saved my life

    by John Thain on Feb 29, 21:41

    Lance Mackey likes to joke that he was mushing before he was born. “But in all seriousness, my mom was seven-months pregnant, mushing the Women’s Invitational with me,” he said. Mackey’s home outside of Fairbanks is filled with photos and newspaper articles related to mushing, proof of a long history with the Iditarod. His dad, […]

  • Iditarod

    Lance Mackey: Cancer, Infection and Determination

    by John Thain on Feb 28, 22:08

    The unforgiving, windy, snow-sparse ice of the Kuskokwim River might not look like an attractive place to mush dogs, yet 25 teams are signed up for the Kuskokwim 300 dog sled race. This remote race, hundreds of miles off the road system in Bethel, Alaska, attracts many elite mushers, some of them with previous Iditarod […]

  • Only in Alaska

    Web Extra: Mushing for tourists above the Arctic Circle

    by John Thain on Feb 23, 17:19

      In the tiny town of Bettles, Alaska, which lies 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle, people from around the world visit the Bettles Lodge to view the Northern Lights during the winter. The aurora activity takes place at night but other events keep guests busy during the day, even when the temperatures drop […]

  • Local

    Alaska earthquake breaks apart ice during 2016 Northern Lights 300 race

    by John Thain on Jan 25, 10:10

    Thirty-three dog mushers were halfway throughout the Northern Lights 300 race when Sunday’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit and began breaking apart the ice they were racing on. Watch the video above to hear their stories.

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    From the Middle East to Anchorage: 10-year-old’s postcard project comes full circle

    by John Thain on Mar 25, 21:31

    A 10-year-old Pacific Northern Academy​ student started a global movement to send hope via postcards to refugee children in the Middle East. Now, his project has come full circle as those children have written back.

  • Arts & Entertainment

    Photographer documents special bond between Anchorage seniors and their pets

    by John Thain on Mar 24, 23:36

    Dogs, cats and other pets — they’re often part of the family. At the Centennial Village senior apartment community in Anchorage, one photographer is documenting the special — and in some cases, lifesaving — relationships between man and beast.  

  • 2015 Iditarod Mushers

    Benjamin Harper

    by John Thain on Mar 05, 16:09

    Ben Harper felt right at home at the Knik 200 Sled Dog Race. After all, it runs many of the same trails as the Jr Iditarod — a race he’s finished three times. But after his 18th birthday last June, Harper was a junior musher no more. The next step was the Iditarod. “I’ve never […]

  • 2015 Iditarod Mushers

    DeeDee Jonrowe

    by John Thain on Mar 04, 19:18

    DeeDee Jonrowe has many dogs to care for, but it’s a labor of love — which works both ways. She remembers her first years in Alaska, working and living in the small community of Bethel. “The weather was cold, but the culture was wonderful,” Jonrowe said. Part of that culture was dog mushing. She starting running […]

  • 2015 Iditarod Mushers

    Steve Watkins

    by John Thain on Mar 02, 23:34

      Some people seek out adventure on the occasional weekend. Steve Watkins looks for it every day. “There’s nothing like a strong, compelling, physical challenge to get you up and get you motivated,” he says. It’s what led him to the armed forces in 1999. “I never thought I’d serve in a war, much less […]

  • 2015 Iditarod Mushers

    Lev Shvarts

    by John Thain on Mar 01, 23:28

      There was a time when Lev Shvarts only had one dog, but that didn’t last long. “Dogs are like potato chips, you can’t have just one,” he says. He now has about 30, but he didn’t grow up mushing dogs. “I was born in the Soviet Union, doesn’t exist anymore, good for us all,” […]

  • 2015 Iditarod Mushers

    Chuck Schaeffer

    by John Thain on Feb 01, 13:59

      As a young boy growing up in the small community of Kotzebue, Chuck Schaeffer dished out a lot of dog food. “I tried to hide from all my chores when I was a kid and I’m the only one of my siblings that became a dog musher,” he explains. “Everyone else is smarter than […]