Though Steffen Booth, the race’s youngest-ever competitor at 16 years and 6 months old, may have stand out amongst the Iron Dog field, once the helmet is on and his thumb is on the throttle, he is where he belongs.
Team 39 of Cody Barber and Brett Lapham were the first team to make it to McGrath but it was Team 7 of Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad who had the fastest time. Of all the teams that made it to McGrath there was no major damage to any of the sleds just a few broken windshields and a couple of busted A-arms.
Many of the 29 pro class teams of two people competing in the 2022 Iron Dog know what they are getting into in the week ahead as veterans. However, 31 riders, more than half of the competitors, have yet to face the challenge that is dubbed ‘The World’s Longest, Toughest Snowmobile Race.’
Last year the “the world’s longest, toughest snowmobile race,” the Iron Dog started and finished in the middle of Big Lake. This year, the race will be starting and finishing at the Menard Sports Center.
Iron Dog team no. 7, Tyler Aklestad and Nick Olstad lead the 2020 Pro Class Race at the Kotzebue checkpoint. In the recreational class race, Team no. 77’s Israel Hale made history becoming the first-ever amputee to finish and win the race.
For the second year in a row, Team No. 10, of Mike Morgan and Chris Olds, have claimed the Iron Dog title, arriving first in Fairbanks on Saturday. They’re the first back-to-back champions since Mark McKenna and Dusty VanMeter in 2013.