It was around high-noon, nearly 34 hours after Joar Leifseth Ulsom won Iditarod 46, that  Anna Berington and her team of 10 dogs weaved back and forth on Front Street in Nome, through fog and windy conditions, to finish her seventh Iditarod in twenty-second place.

"Definitely the first goal is always to finish with a happy, healthy dog team. They are definitely happy and healthy, came flying in here and seeing something and keep going, they would. This little 10-dog team is just so awesome," said Berington. "Half the team hasn't been to Nome before, now they all have been and I guess we had a few goals besides finishing. Wanted to get a nine-day something race, wanted to get in the top 20, but just missed that one, too. But we're so happy to be here, it's my best finish and the dogs are beautiful"

Healthy, happy dogs and improvement on a forty-first placing last year, Berington missed her nine-day goal by just over 12 hours.

2012      43
2013      43
2014      39
2015      28
2016      40
2017      41
2018      22

She credits a change in off-season training with her twin sister Kristy for the improvement.

"Kind of approached the whole training thing differently. Usually just kinda go month to month, week to week, how are they looking, what's the weather doing, stuff like that. This year we had it all planned out right up to Iditarod. So that was different. A lot of different kind of series and campouts and things like that that we normally didn't do. I think it paid off."

Not only did this year bring a change in off-season preparation, but Anna ran without Kristy by her side. Kristy is running close to her husband, rookie Andy Pohl.

"I would still look for Kristy, I guess. I'd leave her little notes at the checkpoints. I was thinking about her and everything. This is her team too. This isn't just my team. We have a little kennel and to put three teams through we had a lot of help and I'm just grateful for that."

While she didn't achieve her set goal for the top 20, she did keep a personal streak going. She's never scratched. Now she can relax, wait, and be under the burled arch to cheer on her sister and brother-in-law as they complete the Last Great Race.

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