As we watch leaders race to the Burled Arch, the KTVA Trail Team met up with one of the veterans of the 2018 field.

Jim Lanier is aiming to run his twentieth Iditarod. And, at 77, the retired pathologist just keeps going.

"My wife insists that I do it every year," Lanier said. 

But, the last three races in 2014, '15 and '16 haven’t been as humorous the first three scratches of his career-- as they were due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, pneumonia, and a fractured collarbone-- and he missed last year with a bad knee. 

And 2018 has been bumpy, too. 

"Just before Rainy Pass, there was really big hill-- new part of the trail-- I went up that and going down the other side, it was pretty steep and something happened and it tipped over, and then trying to get up, the sled was on top of me and the dogs took off down the hill and no way to stop them and so I rode probably a couple hundred yards under the sled."

But Lanier also knows how to ride in style. He decorated his sled in a fabric with money printed on it. 

"Came to pick out the fabric. It was blue and red-- and then I saw the money and I was in the money for sure," he joked. 

Now he makes his way to Nome with his traditional dogs from the Northern Whites Kennel, inspiring others as the senior musher on the trail. 

No one is ever a guarantee to make it to Nome, but keep in mind, Lanier is 16 for 16 in making it to the Burled Arch when healthy.

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved. 

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