When daylight broke at Yentna Station the planes began arriving to move out all the personnel who had been located at the station. We were on the second plane to take off, and we managed to make it back to Martin Buser’s Happy Trails Kennel in time to see Andrew Nolan come in fifth place in the 2014 Junior Iditarod. Less then twenty minutes later Jannelle Trowbridge from Nome came in. Ashley Guernsey arrived about thirty minutes later. And Joshua Klejka about thirty minutes after that. What an amazing thing to see the look of confidence and pride on the faces of the juniors as they crossed the finish line! They faced the challenge and rose to the occasion! All of their planning and training paid off… the rookies are rookies no more and the veterans have another Junior Iditarod under their belt. For three of the veterans, Ben Harper, Joshua Klejka, and Conway Seavey, this was their last Junior Iditarod. We’ll have to see if their futures hold Iditarods in their futures.
Special congratulations to the mushers who beat me to the finish today! Conway Seavey and Ben Harper leap-frogged each other to the finish line, but Conway managed to squeeze past Ben to get the win by about two minutes! Kevin Harper, rookie of the year, finished in third position. Jimmy Lanier finished in fourth position. Our good friend Nicole Forto claimed the red lantern for this race! She was greeted at the finish line by the 1978 Red Lantern Winner, Barbara Redington.
I can say with all honesty, that these kids are amazing! They were professional,confident, and poised. They took excellent care of themselves and even better care of their dogs. We are off to celebrate them with a banquet to close out this year’s Junior Iditiarod.
Here’s a few pictures to hold you over til I have banquet news: