A Race for the Red Lantern

It was a race for first place:  Dallas Seavey edged by Aily Zirkle and won the 2014 Iditarod by 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

It was a race for Rookie of the Year:  Nathan Schroeder edged by Abbie West and won the 2014 Rookie of the Year by about 6 minutes.

It somehow seems fitting then that there was a race for the Red Lantern!  

We’d been watching tracker pretty intensely all day.  When would the trio of ladies leave White Mountain? How long would it take them to get to Safety?  Would they stop in Safety or blow through?  When would they reach Front Street?

Who would make it in first?  Who would be the Red Lantern?

Monica Zappa arrived first from the trio.  She said that Lisbet Norris should be half an hour behind her.  She explained that Lisbet was always half an hour behind her.  The two have been travelling together for several days now.  Monica said that Lisbet always left the checkpoint first because she always took a bit longer to get herself together to leave.  Monica’s team was a bit faster, so she’d end up passing Lisbet, arriving at the next checkpoint half an hour before Lisbet.  She also mentioned being very glad that she and Lisbet were travelling together.  She says Lisbet saved her a few times.

Lisbet joked that they were afraid Marcelle Fressineau was going to pull a “Dallas Seavey” on them.  She actually arrived at Safety while Monica and Lisbet were resting and left before them!  We knew that Moncia had arrived, but when the next siren wailed, we just weren’t sure who we were expecting.

Deja vu….

Would it be Dallas or Aily?

Would it be Nathan or Abbie?

Would it be Lisbet or Marcelle?

2014-03-15 23.48.26And then, the siren wailed again.  And they were both on Front Street, practically side by side!

Lisbet said she had asked Marcelle if she was going to try to pass and Marcelle said no, so the order was set.

Finishing in the 48th spot:  Lisbet Norris, with her amazingly strong and beautiful registered Siberian Huskies.  Monica made it back from the Dog Lot in time to share a huge hug with her.

And winning the red lantern:  Marcelle Fressineau.  In addition to the typical end of 2014-03-15 19.50.17the trail hoopla of checking the mandatory gear, Marcelle was presented with the Red Lantern trophy and the Widow’s Lantern was blown out.  In the end, Lisbet edged out Marcelle by thirty-five seconds!

And just like that, another race is over.  Everyone has made it to Nome: the dogs who are still here are bedded down, the mushers are celebrating their accomplishments, and the volunteers have started to clean out the Convention Center and take down the banners and the arch.

Only two events remain, the Awards Banquet tomorrow and the Volunteer’s Dinner on Wednesday.

And then there are the stories still to be heard…..

I predict we will be hearing the stories of the 2014 Iditarod for years and years to come.