Hopkins wins Rookie of the Year; Zirkle takes home Humanitarian award at mushers banquet

Published: Mar. 17, 2019 at 6:06 PM AKDT
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The awards for the 2019 Iditarod have been announced.

The first musher to reach McGrath won the Alaska Air Transit Spirit of Alaska award. That went to Nicolas Petit, who was given beaver mitts made by Loretta Maillelle of McGrath and a musher hat made by Rosalie Egrass of McGrath.

Petit was the recipient of many awards, including the Lakefront Anchorage First musher to the Yukon award, which included a 5 course gourmet dinner, 3,500 dollars in one dollar bills and a bottle of Dom Perignon. He also won the Ryan Air Gold Coast award, given to the first musher to reach the Unalakleet checkpoint. There he was awarded 1,500 dollars in gold nuggets and an ivory carving.

Aliy Zirkle took home the GCI Dorothy G. Page halfway to Nome award. It's given to the first musher to make it to Iditarod. For that, she received 3,000 dollars in gold nuggets.

Peter Kaiser not only took home the crown of the 2019 Iditarod, meaning he takes home "The Winner's Truck", a 2019 Ram 1500 4x4 truck and the Joe Redington Sr. trophy, he also won the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First award, which is awarded to the first musher to the Kaltag checkpoint. It included a 2,000 dollar check, a certificate for 25 pounds of fresh-caught, Bristol Bay salmon fillets and a wood burned piece of art by Apayo Moore. He also won the Northrim Bank Achieve More award, which is given to the first musher to reach the White Mountain checkpoint. He received a check for 2,500 dollars and a one of a kind print by Anchorage artist Marianne Wieland.

As for other notable awards, the Sportsmanship award went to Mats Pettersson for his help in getting Linwood Feidler back his dogs after they were broken off from his sled.

Lance Mackey was the recipient of the Most Inspirational Musher award. With this win, he gets a paid entry fee for the 2020 Iditarod.

The Loenhard Seppala Humanitarian award went to Aliy Zirkle for her outstanding dog care. She received the entry fee for the 2020 Iditarod.

Rookie of the Year went to Ed Hopkins, who finished in 11 days, 8 hours, 7 minutes and 34 seconds. He was given a 2,000 dollar check and a commemorative trophy.

Wade Marrs won the Nome Kennal Club fastest time from Safety to Nome. That comes with a 500 dollar check.

Most Improved musher goes to Paige Drobny, who gets a trophy and a 2,000 dollar check.

The Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial award goes to Aaron Peck. The musher is chosen for his or her attitude on the trail. Peck received 1,049 dollars in pocket change inside a Northern Air Cargo jacket.

The City of Nome Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness award goes to Morrow, a 7 year old on Peter Kaiser's winning Iditarod race team.

There is still one more musher on the trail so the Red Lantern has not yet been awarded.