ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska bank has joined the world’s most famous sled dog race as a major sponsor. Northrim Bank’s entry in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race fills a vacuum left earlier this year when Wells Fargo decided to drop its longtime sponsorship. Iditarod and Northrim officials declined Friday to disclose the dollar amount of Northrim’s support. But it’s significant enough for the Anchorage-based bank to earn a spot as a “Lead Dog” sponsor, the second-highest tier among four sponsorship levels. When Wells Fargo terminated its sponsorship, Iditarod officials blamed animal rights groups like PETA for pressuring….Continue Reading

Domestic violence is a big problem in Alaska, and this year, the issue made headlines when it became a focus of the last great race. A musher had to sit out of the Iditarod due to domestic violence charges against him. But now, musher Travis Beals could be back on the trail next March. Beals has not yet registered for the race, though, the Iditarod Trail Committee restored him to competition Saturday morning. Organizers indefinitely suspended Beals last April because of two domestic violence charges in 2015. The judge dismissed one case, while Beals pled guilty to criminal mischief. Beals….Continue Reading

Wells Fargo, the banking and financial services company which has been a key sponsor of the Iditarod for nearly three decades, has pulled its financial support of the Last Great Race on Earth. “Wells Fargo regularly reviews where we allocate our marketing resources to build and enhance relationships with customers and the broader community. As part of this process, we have decided not to sponsor the Iditarod in 2018,” Alaska Regional Communications Officer David J. Kennedy said in a statement to KTVA.  The ties between the two go back to 1988 when the late Elmer Rasmuson of the National Bank of Alaska was in the corner of the 1,000 mile….Continue Reading

As Cindy Abbott crossed the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race finish line in Nome Saturday, it marked not only the end of her 2017 run, but also this year’s race. Wearing bib 31, Abbott pulled into Nome at 2:57 p.m., according to a statement from the Iditarod Trail Committee. Her total race time was 12 days, 2 hours, 57 minutes and 31 seconds. She arrived with 12 dogs in harness, ITC noted. As the last musher to finish the race, Abbott earned the Red Lantern award, a tradition that “acts as a symbol of perseverance” for the Last Great Race. She….Continue Reading

Iditarod competitors were allowed to carry and use cell phones for the first time during the race. For one musher a call home didn’t go as planned. Minnesota musher Gunnar Johnson was at the Galena checkpoint when he caught up with our KTVA crew. He was enjoying life off of the grid. “Since I started the race I haven’t had any cell service, I haven’t had any Wi-Fi,” he told Dave Goldman. “I’m living the wireless life and it’s refreshing. I feel a little bad I haven’t been able to call my wife, but other than that the cell phone….Continue Reading

Necropsy results have been released for two dogs that died unexpectedly on the trail during this year’s Iditarod. Flash, a 4-year-old dog from Katherine Keith’s team, died in the overnight hours Tuesday just before reaching the Koyuk checkpoint. Officials said at the time that the dog collapsed in the harness and died a short time after. A necropsy determined the “cause of death was consistent with acute aspiration pneumonia,” according to Iditarod Trail Committee race marshall Mark Nordman. Further testing will be done. Shilling, a 3-year-old dog from the team of rookie English musher Roger Lee, died about ten miles before….Continue Reading

Many mushers have set personal records this year, finishing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in their best times ever. That includes Nenana musher Jason Mackey, who shaved about 21 hours off his finish time from last year. Mackey finished just shy of the top 20, but had even higher goals for himself at the beginning of the race. Through the excitement of the ceremonial start in Anchorage, he seemed calm and confident. “This team can win,” Mackey said. “Hands down, it’s the nicest team I’ve ever drove.” Noticeably absent from the field this year was Mackey’s brother, four-time Iditarod champion….Continue Reading

Mitch Seavey led this year’s field of mushers onto Front Street and under Nome’s great Burled Arch in record time. The 57-year-old also set the record as the oldest musher to ever win an Iditarod. His son, Dallas, and Nicolas Petit rounded out this year’s top 3 winners. KTVA is the official station of the Iditarod. Follow our coverage on Twitter, Facebook and online.

Two Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race mushers scratched in Shaktoolik on Thursday, according to the Iditarod Trail Committee. In a statement, ITC spokeswoman Bri Kelly said veteran Iditarod musher Monica Zappa, wearing bib 58, scratched at 3:30 a.m. According to Kelly, the Kasilof-based musher decided to leave the race for “the best interest of her team.” “Zappa noted that her race team did not wish to continue on the sea ice trail,” Kelly added. Roger Lee, rookie musher from England who wore bib 10, scratched at 12:30 p.m. in Shaktoolik, according to Kelly. “Lee made the decision to scratch while….Continue Reading

“I came to Alaska as a butcher, the old guys who used to cut meat,” Howard Farley told a captivated audience at the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum in Nome. “Dog mushers liked butchers in those days because butchers always had lots of meat scraps.” As he told his tales from the trail, it didn’t take long for people listening to realize Farley is a great storyteller, sharing his adventure of the first Iditarod in 1973 when it took him nine hours to make it to the first checkpoint in Knik. He recounted a conversation between himself and the wife….Continue Reading