Four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Dallas Seavey has dominated the front of the race so far, but he’s not alone.
Veteran Aaron Burmeister was the first musher to reach the Rohn checkpoint on Saturday as the mushers move south along the Gold Loop Trail to the finish line in Skwentna.
For being the first to Rohn, Burmeister claims the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award that includes 25 pounds of fresh Bristol Bay salmon filets, $2,000 and a wood burned art piece by BBNC shareholder artist Apay’uq Moore.
Seavey was the third musher to reach the checkpoint, about six minutes behind Brent Sass of Eureka.
Earlier, Seavey had picked up the award that traditionally goes to the first musher to reach the Yukon River. Since the trail doesn’t go to the Yukon this year, it was awarded to the first musher to reach the Ophir checkpoint heading south.
The award consists of a five-course gourmet meal prepared by The Lakefront Anchorage executive chef which will be served to Seavey and guests in the spring.
Seavey also will receive an “After Dinner Mint” of $3,500 in one dollar bills along with a bottle of Dom Pérignon.
Thirty-eight mushers remain on the trail.
Veterans Rick Casillo, Riley Dyche and Peter Kaiser, the 2019 champion, have all scratched.
A winner is expected late Sunday or early Monday.