• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 7s

In rare finish, Jessie Royer completes Iditarod with all 16 dogs

By Heather Hintze 7:58 AM March 16, 2017
NOME –

Jessie Royer was a dog musher before she even knew what mushing was.

“I had goats for 4H so I used to hook up my border collie with my billy goat and that was my first dog team when I was ten years old,” Royer said. “I’d never even heard of the Iditarod before.”

Flash forward 30 years and she’s now a top contender in the Last Great Race on Earth. Royer said she didn’t go into the race with a strategy, she just wanted to take the best care of her team.

“We had a few issues but the sore muscles I was able to massage, things like that I was able to work through any of the issues we had on the trail and keep the team going.”

Her team is full of dogs who’ve finished the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest.

“I’ve got a litter of six here. The three females there’s Halo, Beret and Sniper and the males are Seal, Stryker and Recon, they’re my military special forces littler,” she listed off a portion of her team.

Royer said a crucial part of her race is having several leaders she can rotate throughout long runs.

“There are other mushers out on the trail who were trying to run a competitive race and something happened to their main lead dogs and it took them out of the competition,” Royer explained. “There are a lot of dogs that will run lead but not a lot of dogs that will run lead at the end of the race when you’re getting tired and pushing for the finish.”

Her game plan paid off. Royer is likely the first top ten musher to ever have a full team run the Iditarod from start to finish.

“It’s kind of a once and a lifetime deal. It may not ever happen again,” Royer said humbly. “The good Lord blessed me with an awesome year and an awesome team of dogs.”

It takes everyone giving their all to reach the Burled Arch in Nome.

“There are 16 dogs, well I’m the 17th dog. We’re a team out there and you’re going to have highs and lows. You have to work through them and the dogs feed off the mushers attitude,” said Royer.

Royer shaved about 12 hours off her time this year, finishing in 8 days, 13 hours, 8 minutes. She said she’s looking forward to having most of her team back next year as she strives for another personal best.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Panel pitches plan to eliminate cashable oil tax credits

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 21:51

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska Senate committee has proposed eliminating cash credits for oil and gas companies that lawmakers have increasingly come to see as unaffordable. The proposal doesn’t delve as deeply into oil tax policy as the version that passed the House. But the Alaska Oil and Gas Association says an initial review […]

  • Ex-‘Deadliest Catch’ star arrested on drug charges

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 21:47

    PHOENIX (AP) – A former reality television star has been arrested in Phoenix for alleged vehicle theft and drug possession. Phoenix police say 31-year-old Jacob Harris was released on his own recognizance Monday after his initial court appearance. He faces a May 5 status conference. Harris was on Discovery channel’s “Deadliest Catch” series. According to […]

  • We may be underestimating whale-boat collisions

    by Associated Press on Apr 24, 21:34

    PORTLAND, Maine — A group of marine scientists says collisions of whales and boats off of the New England coast may be more common than previously thought. The scientists focused on the humpback whale population in the southern Gulf of Maine, a body of water off of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. They found that […]

  • Man gets 4 years in Anchorage bank robbery

    by KTVA Web Staff on Apr 24, 21:25

    An Anchorage man has been sentenced to serve four years behind bars following a conviction for a 2016 bank robbery. Scott Hartvig McDowell, 49, was sentenced to four years in prison and three years of supervised release in connection with the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union robbery that occurred on August 2, 2016. McDowell presented […]

  • News

    Aurora watchers spot something new in night sky

    by CBS News on Apr 24, 21:00

    Citizen scientists looking at the northern lights appear to have stumbled upon a new natural phenomenon. Members of the Facebook group Alberta Aurora Chasers posted photos of a mysterious purple streak cutting through the night’s sky. In their early posts, the group’s members referred to the streak of purple light as a “proton arc” — […]

  • Juneau playground fire ‘possibly arson’

    by KTVA Web Staff on Apr 24, 20:52

    A fire broke out Monday evening at a popular child’s playground in Juneau. The Twin Lakes playground went up in flames in the 5 o’clock hour Monday evening, and the $250,000-worth of playground equipment is a total loss. No injuries were reported, according to Capital City Fire and Rescue. The Fire Marshal is investigating the […]

  • News

    Alaskans might need passport for flights, military base access

    by Liz Raines on Apr 24, 19:38

    If state lawmakers don’t pass new legislation soon, Alaskans may not be able to use their  State of Alaska driver’s license to fly or access military bases.  That’s because of the Real ID Act passed by Congress in 2005, designed to create minimum security standards for all state ID cards nationwide. Now, 12 years later, the […]

  • News

    Crowd packs 4th Avenue Theater meeting

    by Lauren Maxwell on Apr 24, 17:49

    Meetings of the State’s Historic Preservation Commission don’t always draw big crowds, but on Monday morning, the room was packed. People came to testify before the Commission as to why they believed Anchorage’s 4th Avenue Theater should be designated a historic monument by the state. Judy Bittner, chair of the commission, said the hearing was […]