Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage

Lex Treinen, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage
Lex Treinen is covering the state Legislature for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at ltreinen@gmail.com.
a woman in outdoor gear, with headphones hanging from her jacket

Here’s what 5 Iditarod mushers are listening to on the trail

From country music to motivational books to nothing at all.
a man and a sled dog

Viper, the precocious leader and voracious eater

Mike Williams Jr. said he put Viper in lead on a whim earlier this year. The 2-year-old has been leading the charge ever since.
A man in a fur-ruffed parka

When this Iditarod rookie lost his dog team, his top competitor helped him out

Eddie Burke Jr. said he dozed off on his sled along the Yukon River and lost his team 18 miles from the nearest checkpoint. His closest competitor for rookie of the year gave him a lift.
two people look into the wind

Ryan Redington in command of Iditarod as ‘childhood dream’ comes alive on Bering Sea coast

Ryan Redington arrived in Unalakleet early Sunday after a monster run from Kaltag to the coast, putting more distance between him and his rivals.
a man in a sweater with his arms around a dog

Elway, the super intelligent star quarterback

Riley Dyche described 5-year-old Elway as fearless, smart and strong.
A man in a green hoodie and a seal hat and a parka

‘Best in the world’: Tight race shapes up for lead as top Iditarod teams head for the coast

With defending champ Brent Sass out, the top of the Iditarod field is scrambled, leaving four main teams at the top.
a dog stands on the snow-covered pavement

Blunt, who gets better when the going gets tough

Eddie Burke Jr.’s 5-year-old leader already has an impressive racing resume, but it’s only his first Iditarod.
A dog team runs through the snow

On Yukon River, Iditarod teams recuperate from early bruises and strategize big moves

The trail on the Yukon River is reportedly hard and fast making for relatively easy running. But it makes plotting a surge up the standings tricky.
a musher in a red jacket with a dog

Covid (the dog), the secret weapon

Jason Mackey got his lead dog Covid from his brother Lance, who died in September.
A woman in a blue hat hols a ziploc bag filled with an oatmeal bar

Favorite trail snack? 5 Iditarod mushers weigh in

From sweet and sour chicken to dried mangoes, there’s a variety of food in mushers’ vacuum-sealed bags.
A person holds a bag with the number 24

Iditarod tests out tracking collars for dogs sent home from the trail

After an incident last year in which a dog escaped, officials are trying to attach tracking collars to all dogs left behind at checkpoints.
a man looks over his shoulder at a table

Iditarod rookie Gregg Vitello has had a heck of a ride

Gregg Vitello was the last musher into Nikolai. He's had his fair share of troubles on the trail.
A woman lies in straw behind a dog sled and in front of a team of dogs

Photos: After mud and moguls, Iditarod teams recover in Nikolai

Mushers slept. Dogs slept. And sled repairs got underway.
A dog team runs up the banks of the Kuskokwim River.

How bad are the Iditarod trail moguls? Depends who you ask.

Iditarod officials had warned mushers that the trail into Nikolai would have the worst moguls in race history.
a man in a green hat and orange buff

Triathletes, boxers and skiers: How different sports help these Iditarod mushers compete

This year’s mushers include a former all-conference football player, an Ironman triathlete and a member of a national championship ski team.
a sled dog is pet on the head

JoAnna, a hyper-obedient leader

Once JoAnna gets going, she doesn’t stop. 
A dog team runs in front of some mountains

Iditarod mushers cope with warm temperatures as they arrive at Alaska Range

Mushers shrugged off jackets and dogs sunbathed in the snow as temperatures hovered around 40 degrees — hot by Alaska winter standards.
A man lies with his dog hugging it

Photos: Iditarod mushers shrug off jackets and sled dogs sunbathe

The Rainy Pass checkpoint is about 150 miles into the race and, tucked into the Alaska Range, it’s a scenic place to rest.