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Red Lantern 2012

Red Lantern

Jan Steves (40) made it into Nome at 5:57AM CDT this morning, two minutes after Bob Chlupach (49), and took the Red Lantern for the Iditarod XL.

There were 1052 dogs and 66 teams at the start, but only 557 dogs and 53 teams finished. 139 dogs and 13 teams left the race when they scrathed or were withdrawn, meaning 356 dogs were dropped during the race for various reasons. There were no deaths.

Only three of the 13 teams that failed to finish were rookies. There were 4 scratches and a withdrawal at Unalakleet, tied to the wind that came up. Only three teams scratched during the first half of the race.

The awards:

  • Race Winner – Dallas Seavey – New pick up truck and $50,400.00
  • Rookie of the Year Award – the top place rookie – Brent Sass – $2,000 and trophy
  • Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award – outstanding dog care throughout the Race while remaining competitive – DeeDee Jonrowe – a glass etched trophy and a free entry fee for Iditarod XLI
  • Lolly Medley Golden Harness Award – outstanding lead dog, chosen by the mushers – Guinness, Dallas Seavey Lead Dog – Embroidered gold harness
  • Sportsmanship Award – chosen by fellow mushers – Lance Mackey – trophy and a $500 gift certificate
  • Mushers Choice Award – chosen by his or her peers who was the most inspirational – Dan Seavey – an Iditarod Limited Edition Gold Coin, valued at $3,300
  • Most Improved Musher Award – the musher who has bettered his/her most recent finish by the most number of places – Rohn Buser – an engraved trophy plus $2,000
  • Fastest Time from Safety to Nome Award – fastest time for a top 20 team – Mike Williams, Jr. – $500
  • Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award – the person who most closely mimics “Herbie, The Shismaref Cannon Ball” in his/her attitude on the trail – Michelle Phillips – free freight allotment on Northern Air Cargo and a walrus ivory scrimshawed trophy, plus $1,049 in “pocket change” inside of a NAC jacket
  • Red Lantern – last musher to finish – Jan Steves – a trophy made from a red lantern
  • Spirit of Alaska Award – the first musher into McGrath – Aliy Zirkle – an original “Spirit Mask” and a $500 credit on PenAir
  • Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award – the first musher into Cripple – Jim Lanier – a trophy and $3,000 in gold nuggets
  • Gold Coast Award – the first musher to the “Gold Coast” community of Unalakleet – Aliy Zirkle – a trophy and $2,500 worth of gold nuggets
  • Golden Clipboard Award – the most outstanding checkpoint – Nulato
  • Golden Stethoscope Award – the veterinarian who was the most helpful on the trail – Ruth Kothe, DVM and Tanja Kruse, DVM
  • Northern Air Cargo 4 Wheeler Award – A new 4 Wheeler given to a musher who has finished the race, and whose key, which is chosen randomly by the mushers, starts the 4 wheeler as they approach the stage – Peter Kaiser [second year in a row]

Official Finish Order:

1 Dallas Seavey (34)
2 Aliy Zirkle (14)
3 Ramey Smyth (21)
4 Aaron Burmeister (44)
5 Peter Kaiser (28)
6 Ray Redington Jr (2)
7 Mitch Seavey (35)
8 Michael Williams Jr (51)
9 John Baker (11)
10 DeeDee Jonrowe (17)
11 Sigrid Ekran (24)
12 Ken Anderson (39)
13 Brent Sass (50)Q
14 Sonny Lindner (59)
15 Paul Gebhardt (25)
16 Michelle Phillips (26)
17 Hugh Neff (27)
18 Rohn Buser (62)
19 Martin Buser (41)
20 Gerald Sousa (58)
21 Colleen Robertia (42)
22 Lance Mackey (18)
23 Jodi Bailey (6)
24 Cim Smyth (8)
25 Ed Stielstra (45)
26 Anjanette Steer (32)R
27 Kelley Griffin (20)
28 Braxton Peterson (63)R
29 Nicolas Petit (9)
30 Rick Swenson (60)
31 Ryne Olson (46)R
32 Kelly Maixner (12)
33 Jim Lanier (3)
34 Mike Santos (22)R
35 Bruce Linton (36)
36 Karin Hendrickson (43)
37 Trent Herbst (16)
38 Matt Giblin (52)
39 Scott Janssen (37)
40 Curt Perano (61)R
41 Art Church Jr (64)
42 William Pinkham (4)
43 Anna Berington (33)R
44 Kristy Berington (31)
45 Justin Savidis (38)
46 Travis Cooper(19)R
47 Jaimee Kinzer (30)R
48 Matt Failor (57)R
49 Hank Debruin (48)Q
50 Karen Ramstead (56)
51 Dan Seavey (65)
52 Bob Chlupach (49)
53 Jan Steves (40)RΦ


1 JuanitaM { 03.19.12 at 8:10 pm }

Well, as you’d hoped, Jan Steves took the Red Lantern. The final time was 14 days, 11 hours, 57 mins, & 3 secs! It was about a day longer than 2011 & 2010, but about a day shorter than 2009 & 2008, so very respectable overall even for the Red Lantern.

And most important, all the dogs will get home safely (if not entirely sound with a few bruises here and a few sore spots there) for a second year in a row, and that’s the best award they can all have. Overall, a good race. I swear I enjoy this so much every year. Maybe next year I can carve some time out to keep up with the Quest, too. It sounds much more friendly than the Iditarod anyway.

I’ve been showing a lot of people the video of Hugh Neff with his “Cat in the Hat” colors flying on all the dogs. What a hoot! Of course, a lot of these mushers appear to be colorful characters as a group. Maybe it’s those long winter nights.

Anyway, thanks again for all the work of posting the highlights. I always learn something new every year about the dogs or the race as well. You may get tired of being “teacher”, but it’s much appreciated. Do you ever miss Alaska, perhaps in July?

2 Bryan { 03.19.12 at 9:55 pm }

The powder snow really slows things down for everyone, and that wind on the coast makes rolling out of the sleeping bag even harder to do.

After 48-hours most of the puppies will want to do it again. Remember, Lance won the Quest and the Iditarod when there was only about a week between them, and using the same team. The ability of these dogs to bounce back is truly amazing.

The Quest is more of a volunteer, community effort. It isn’t as polished, or as media centered as the Iditarod. There aren’t nearly as many checkpoints, but there are individuals who open their cabins to mushers passing by.

It was noted that Dan Seavey cut 7 days off his time when he ran in the second Iditarod nearly 40 years ago.

Alaska is nice from mid-April through May, and late August and September. In between there is no real night, and it can get hot. Sleeping is a problem.

Mushers get carried away, and this is one of the few times they see a lot of people at the same time. As for the blankets, there is a picture of a musher’s dogs covered by fleece blankets that the musher’s mother made for him – they are baby blue with penguins on them. At lot of these choices are made by what wasn’t selling at the fabric store, because it takes a lot of fabric to make coats or blankets for 16 dogs. It is unlikely you will see many mushers in GQ or Vogue, as their styles tend to be a bit eccentric, and everything is very expensive in the North.

3 Steve Bates { 03.19.12 at 11:45 pm }

“it takes a lot of fabric to make coats or blankets for 16 dogs.”

“Ya clothe 16 dogs… an’ whaddya get?” …

Thank the good Dog it’s over, with all dogs alive!

4 Bryan { 03.20.12 at 9:11 pm }

“Two weeks older and deeper in debt …”
“St Peter don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go – I owe my soul to JoAnn’s Fabrics and Crafts ….”

If they could just figure out how to protect the dogs from moose and snowmobiles in the winter, and cars in the summer.

5 JuanitaM { 03.21.12 at 9:07 am }

Thank the good Dog it’s over…
…’cause I can’t go – I owe my soul to JoAnn’s Fabrics and Crafts ….”

Anyone ever told you guys that you might be a little nutz? 🙂

Lance won the Quest and Iditarod only a week apart! I didn’t realize it was that soon between races. Somehow in my mind I was thinking it was more like three weeks. That IS amazing.

On July in Alaska, I guess I was thinking about how hot it would be in Florida, but then you probably get some cooling ocean breezes to help out.

Hey, maybe we should ship the mushers some fabrics and see if they show up in the next Iditarod.

6 Steve Bates { 03.21.12 at 9:51 pm }

“you might be a little nutz? 🙂 “

Oh, indeed, Juanita. For many years, being “a little nutz” was my stock in trade. In those years I was The Yellow Doggerel Democrat. But saying that presumes that you know what a “yellow-dog Democrat” is…

In any case, I just searched my city public library for The Fabric of Reality, and they don’t have it. So no dogs will be clothed in that fabric!

7 Bryan { 03.21.12 at 10:45 pm }

Juanita, programming computers does that to you, especially if you do it in Windows.

They moved the Quest a few years ago when people starting running both races in the same year. That is a relatively recent phenomenon.

If it is fleece, the dogs will wear it. They’re colorblind, so they don’t care, and when fresh eggs are two dollars apiece, you can appreciate what everything costs in Alaska.

Truth be told, Steve, there aren’t many people in Florida or Texas wearing that particular type of fabric. They don’t believe it exists.

8 Steve Bates { 03.21.12 at 11:02 pm }

Well, Bryan, there IS a book that contains an even less credible account of things than The Fabric of Reality, and I’d venture to say that most homes in Texas and Florida have at least one copy of that book…

9 Kryten42 { 03.22.12 at 10:22 pm }

LOL Youse are all Nutz! 😈 (And before anyone else say’s it, yes, I am also!)

It why I like to visit here (and why I missed it). “Like likes like” after all. 😉 LOL

Not only Homes Steve, also every Motel & Hotel room across the USA and most of the World. It’s why it’s the No. 1 Best Seller! Not; as a certain organization (and no, not the Mafia, but close) would have everyone believe; because millions of people have bought it to read. As far as I have seen, some did buy that book to read, but generally only the bit’s that agreed with them, or justified their actions. 👿

10 JuanitaM { 03.22.12 at 11:25 pm }

Two dollars a piece! Jiminy Christmas, Bryan, can’t they raise chickens up there?

The fabric of my reality tonight is that I’m bone tired but cannot seem to sleep. What is up with that? Tomorrow will not be fun. But yeah, I just thought reality avoidance was largely a local phenomenon with our crazy people in Virginia, but after reading these posts apparently it’s worldwide.

[…presumes that you know what a “yellow-dog Democrat” is…]

Is that the one where you’d vote for a yellow dog before you’d vote for a Republican?

11 Bryan { 03.23.12 at 12:12 am }

Dealing with computers and vendors is enough to drive anyone around the bend, Kryten, as you well know. 😉

The cost is largely the facilities to house the chickens during the winter, and then getting the eggs to people while protecting them from breakage or freezing. When it may be a half a day by snowmobile to a store, packaging is very important. At least you don’t have to worry about the ice cream melting.

It is all about transportation and freeze protection in Alaska.

The current reality is worth avoiding if you can, but that takes a lot more money than anyone I know has.