Talk of Alaska: The Future of Mushing

A musher in the snow with a yellow parka drives a team of dogs
Joe Taylor, who lives outside of Fairbanks, said he might not ever race the Iditarod again after his rookie year in 2022. He said with a small kennel of 13 dogs, he’s not competitive enough to take the time to run again. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

The Iditarod, Alaska’s iconic race is more than 50 years old. Fewer teams took off for Nome in 2023 than in any other year. Are the number of competitors down because of the added expense of inflation or is there something else at play? What does the future hold for long distance racing and sled dog racing overall? Race veterans discuss what’s on the horizon for dog drivers and their teams on this Talk of Alaska.


HOST: Lori Townsend


  • Martin Buser – Four-time Iditarod Champion, record-holder for most consecutive Iditarod finishes
  • Apayauq Reitan – 2019 Yukon Quest Rookie of the year, and the first openly transgender woman to compete in the race

Relevant Links:


Call 907-550-8422 (Anchorage) or 1-800-478-8255 (statewide) during the live broadcast.

Send an email to (Comments may be read on air).

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LIVE Broadcast: Tuesday, March 7, at 10 a.m. on Alaska public radio stations statewide.

Lori Townsend is the news director and senior host for Alaska Public Media. You can send her news tips and program ideas for Talk of Alaska and Alaska Insight at or call 907-550-8452.

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