Author: Joe Runyan (214 posts)

Joe Runyan is the author of Winning Strategies for Distance Mushers (2003), and collaborated with Iditarod champs Jeff King in writing Cold Hands, Warm Heart(2008) and Lance Mackey in writing The Lance Mackey Story (2010). Runyan won 1st Place Best Sport’s Story Pacific NW Professional Journalists (2011). Runyan is the only musher to have won the three major long distance events in his era, the Iditarod (1989), Yukon Quest (1985), and Alpirod (1988).

March 8 5:54pm Ruby Wade Marrs 8miles out—-Ruby be Mine

March 8 5:54pm Ruby Wade Marrs 8miles out—-Ruby be Mine Joe Runyan Bruce Lee and I took a direct Tanana to Ruby flight route in 56 minutes and now find ourselves at the Ruby communityt hall waiting for the first musher off the Yukon.  The very reliable Insider Gps indicates Wade Marrs 8 miles out …


March 8 tanana 9:50 AM Middle of the Pack settles into Rhythm

March 8 Tanana 9:50AM Middle of the Pack While our lead competitors—-Wade Marrs and Dallas Seavey—-are halfway to Ruby, the middle of the pack settles into a trail rhythm.  These competitors have a different view of the trail and priority. At the round table in the checkpoint community hall, while changing socks, a competitor says …


march 8 Tanana 2:30am Wade Marrs wakes up the pack

Yodeling, stoccato barking, long lonesome wails, in the cold still night air at 1am as Wade Marrs pushed the pack out of Tanana in direction Ruby, 120 miles downriver on the mighty Yukon.  Even after caucophony from the Iditarod teams of Wade Marrs, Dallas Seavey, Pete Kaiser, and Mitch SEavey ceased, village dogs were still …


march 7 7:44pm Nicolas Petit first to Yukon

Nicolas Petit first to Yukon Joe Runyan In an impressive display of raw power, Nicolas Petit took command at the lead into Tanana.  Insiders viewing the GPS tracker saw Nicolas work his team to the front, edge past  Martin Buser and arrive first at the Yukon with fifteen dogs. The sun in the horizon turned …


march 7 2:09pm Tanana Pete Kaiser leads Pack

Pete Kaiser leads pack Joe Runyan Our forward group of Insiders, Greg Heister and I flew from Nenana to Manley, picked up Bruce Lee and with pilot Greg Fischer flew the Tanana River trail to Tanana. With clear skies, settled weather, and no perceptible wind,  Bruce and I saw Aliy Zairkle camped along the trail …


March 7 8:40am Nenana An inconsequential Overview

An Inconsequential Overview Joe Runyan No one I know actually believes our viewpoint has any consequence at this point of the race, but my crew of analysts this morning at the Nenana checkpoint has their viewpoints.   Let their analysis begin!!!!! Mikael Sunstrom from Rovanemi, Finland leads my team Mikael, taking a sabatical from his …


March 6 7pm Mushers into Nenana, Dallas slow as a rowboat

March 7 7pm Mushers into Nenana,  Dallas slow as a rowboat What a great way to start a race.  Within fifty  miles we already have a radical departure in strategies.   Martin Buser, the 4x champ, was in and out of Nenana after a blistering 5hr 1 min run on the Tanana River, while the …


March 6 Monday 12 Noon Pikes Landing

March 6 Monday 12 noon Pike’s Landing Check out the interviews and images on Insider Video    Luckily, I have an Iditarod security badge which allows passage through the security of the start chute to the Musher staging area.  In a three to four acre clearing, about a quarter mile from the start chute, trucks …


March 6 7:28am Pikes Landing Start

March 6 7:28am  PIkes Landing check out an early morning update on video from Heister, Bruce Lee, and myself. Volunteers milled in the PIkes lounge area, noting minus thirty outside.  At my first cup of coffee, I asked a young guy about his mission.   “I’m from Richardson (AFB) and saw the opportunity to help. …


March 5 17 Fairbanks at Pikes Landing

March 5 Fairbanks at Pike’s Landing Start  2:27PM Joe Runyan Our Insider Crew arrives Fairbanks after a 61/2 hour drive from Anchorage.   Sky’s clear and the mountains, particularly Denali, brilliant about mid-day as we pass over the Alaska Range in direction Fairbanks and the great Yukon drainage—known to Alaskans as the Interior.     …