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Iditarod musher Chad Stoddard wins 2021 Rookie of the Year

Iditarod musher Chad Stoddard and his dog team at the start of the 2021 race.
Iditarod musher Chad Stoddard and his dog team at the start of the 2021 race.(KTUU)
Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 10:31 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race competition for Rookie of the Year wrapped up when Anchorage musher Chad Stoddard crossed the finish line in 9 days, 4 hours, 6 minutes and 10 seconds with 13 dogs in harness.

The newcomer finished in 23rd place overall and received a prize of $2,000 for his Rookie of the Year finish.

Stoddard and his fearless team of sled dogs weren’t afraid of a challenge and said his favorite part of the race was going through the infamous Dalzell Gorge on the southbound portion of the gold loop trail.

“We were flying up that thing,” Stoddard told Iditarod Insider at the finish line. “I felt like we did well on that part.”

During a normal year, the teams would go through the gorge once, but the new route took teams through the treacherous part of the trail twice.

The ice surrounding the Rohn checkpoint also tested Stoddard and his dog team.

“The runs coming in and out of Rohn were really entertaining,” Stoddard told Iditarod Insider at the finish line. “Those two runs were a wild ride.”

The Anchorage musher broke into the sport working the Alaska Icefield Expeditions after spending summers working for Gold Rush Dog Tours in Juneau.

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