Iditarod XLV special award recipients honored at awards banquet

The 2017 special awards bestowed to mushers during and after Iditarod XLV were presented at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race awards banquet in Nome on Sunday, March 19. The awards, in entirety, are listed below:

The Lakefront Anchorage First Musher to the Yukon Award

Presented since 1983 and is awarded to the first musher to the Yukon. For the 2017 race route, this award was given at the Tanana checkpoint. Musher receives: A five course, gourmet dinner prepared at the checkpoint by The Lakefront Anchorage executive chef Roberto Sidro; $3,500 in one–dollar bills served on a commemorative gold pan

Winner: Nicolas Petit

PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award

The PenAir Spirit of Alaska award has been presented since 2000 to the first musher to reach the McGrath checkpoint. For the 2017 race route, this award was claimed in Ruby. Musher receives: a framed print by legendary Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle; $500 flight credit

Winner: Wade Marrs

GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award

Presented by GCI since 1994, the 2017 award — reflecting the 2017 race route — is given to the first musher to arrive in Huslia. Musher receives: $3,000 in gold nuggets; a commemorative trophy

Winner: Mitch Seavey

Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award

This award has been presented by Bristol Bay Native Corporation since 2014 to the first musher to reach the Kaltag checkpoint. Musher receives: $2,000 check; a certificate for 25 pounds of fresh Bristol Bay salmon

Winner: Mitch Seavey

Wells Fargo Gold Coast Award

Since 1993, this award is presented by Wells Fargo to the first musher to the Unalakleet checkpoint. Musher receives: $3,500 worth of gold nuggets; a commemorative trophy

Winner: Wade Marrs

Nome Kennel Club Fastest Time from Safety to Nome

Presented by the Nome Kennel Club since 1973, this awards goes to the musher with the fastest time from the Safety checkpoint to the finish in Nome. Musher receives: $500 check; a commemorative trophy

Winner: Nicolas Petit, with a time of two hours and 27 minutes between the two checkpoints.

Jerry Austin Memorial Rookie of the Year Award

Presented in memoriam of Jerry Austin, this award has been presented since 1980 to the top–placing rookie. Musher receives: $2,000 check; a commemorative trophy

Winner: Sebastien Vergnaud, who placed 23rd overall with a time of 9 days, 8 hours, 27 minutes and 53 seconds.

Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Official Truck Award

This award has been presented to the Iditarod champion since 1991. Musher receives: 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 4X4 valued at $40,000

Winner: Mitch Seavey

Matson Most Improved Musher Award

This award is presented to the musher who bettered his/her previous finish by the most places. Musher receives: $2,000 check; a commemorative trophy

Winner: Ryan Redington, who improved by 22 places between his 36th place finish in 2009 and 14th place finish in the 2017 race.

Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award

Presented since 1977 to the musher demonstrating sportsmanship, the recipient of the Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award is chosen by fellow mushers. Musher receives: $3,000 check; a commemorative trophy

Winner: Allen Moore

Most Inspirational Musher Award

Presented since 2010 to the most inspirational musher, the recipient of the Most Inspirational Musher Award is chosen by fellow mushers. Musher receives: Entry fee for the 2018 Iditarod

Winner: Jessie Royer

Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award

The Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award has been presented since 2007 to the person who emulates “Herbie: The Shishmaref Cannon Ball” in his/her attitude on the trail. The recipient is chosen by race staff and officials. Musher receives: $1,049 in “pocket change” inside a Northern Air Cargo jacket

Winner: Michelle Phillips

Golden Clipboard Award

Presented since 2001 to the most outstanding checkpoint, this award is chosen by the competing mushers.

The checkpoint receives: a commemorative plaque

Winner: Manley

Alaska Airlines Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award

Presented since 1982 to a musher that demonstrates outstanding dog care while remaining competitive throughout the race, the recipient of the Alaska Airlines Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award is chosen by the veterinary team. Musher receives: two roundtrip Alaska Airlines tickets; a commemorative trophy

Winner: Jessie Royer

City of Nome Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness Award

Originally presented by the late Lolly Medley, a Wasilla harness maker and one of two women to run the second Iditarod in 1974, the recipient is chosen by mushers and is awarded to the most outstanding lead dog. Musher receives: Embroidered gold–colored harness

Winner: Pilot, Mitch Seavey’s lead dog, a five-year-old male who led Seavey to a record-breaking Iditarod championship in eight days, three hours, 40 minutes and 13 seconds

Red Lantern Award

Presented since 1973, the Red Lantern Award is given to the final finisher of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Musher receives: Red lantern trophy

Winner: Cindy Abbott

Award information courtesy of the Iditarod Trail Committee.

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