Richie Beattie earns Rookie of the Year as fastest first-timer to Nome
Rookie musher Richie Beattie arrived in Nome at 10:01 p.m. Thursday, in 21st place. His total race time of 11 days, 7 hours, 1 minute and 31 seconds makes him the fastest rookie on the trail this year.
Since 1980, the first rookie to arrive at the end of the trail has received the Rookie of the Year award, which includes a trophy and $2,000.
According to his biography on Iditarod.com, Beattie has finished the Yukon Quest two times, and claimed Rookie of the Year in that race in 2006.
He said earning Rookie of the Year was one of his goals for the Iditarod.
"I was rookie of the year in the Yukon Quest, so I thought that would be pretty cool to pull off both of them," Beattie said, "but Ed Hopkins, not too far behind me, is a very skilled dog man with lots of experience and really good dogs, so it was actually kind of fun."
Ed Hopkins is considered a rookie to the Iditarod, but is a musher with decades of experience. He trailed Beattie into Nome Thursday night.
"We had like a little race within the race," said Beattie. "We’re buddies and everything, but we were both trying to beat each other. He had a strategy of doing a little bit longer runs and a little bit shorter rests, and I had a strategy of a little bit faster runs and longer rests, and looks like mine worked out a little better."
Beattie will be honored during the annual awards banquet in Nome on Sunday.
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