Jessie Royer

Jessie Royer

Age: 38

Darby, Montana


Fairbanks’ Jessie Royer was among the eight mushers who guided their teams into Kaltag on Saturday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Kaltag is 625 miles into this year’s 975-mile race, which finishes on Front Street in Nome.

Royer and her dogs arrived in Kaltag at 3:18 p.m. Saturday. The 18-time Iditarod veteran earned the The Lakefront Anchorage First Musher to the Yukon Award on Friday for being the first musher into the Ruby checkpoint on the Yukon River.

Ruby is 495 miles into this year’s race

Eureka’s Brent Sass was a little more than an hour behind Royer on Saturday, as the three-time Yukon Quest International winner steered his 13-dog team into the Kaltag checkpoint at 4:20 p.m.

The Yukon Quest runs each February on a 1,000-mile course between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon. The race alternates starts each year.

Thomas Waerner, of Torpa, Norway, was in third place in the Iditarod on Saturday after he drove his 13-dog team into Kaltag at 5:16 p.m.

Bethel’s Peter Kaiser, last year’s Iditarod champion, was holding fourth place after bringing his 10 dogs into Kaltag at 6:16 p.m. Nenana’s Aaron Burmeister and his 12-dog team followed in at 6:39 p.m. for fifth place.

Willow’s Wade Marrs, with 12 dogs, was sixth after arriving in Kaltag at 6:52 p.m.

Skagway’s Ryan Redington and Joar Leifseth Ulsom, of Rana, Norway, rounded out the top eight after reaching Kaltag with a small gap between them.

Redington and his 12 dogs were in at 8:37 p.m., and Ulsom and his 10 dogs arrived in Kaltag at 8:39 p.m.

The next checkpoint is Unalakleet, 85 miles from Kaltag.

Fifty-one mushers, as of 9 p.m. Saturday, were still running the Iditarod. 

Fifty-seven mushers began the race March 7, with a ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage. The official start was the next day in Willow.

Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.