Martin BuserBib Number: 2
Hometown: Big Lake, AK
Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1958, Martin became fascinated with sled dogs while still a teen. He came to Alaska in 1979 to enhance his knowledge of care and training of sled dogs. He began working and training with long-time Alaskan mushers Earl and Natalie Norris and ran his first Iditarod in 1980. Martin, wife Kathy Chapoton, a retired teacher, and sons Nikolai and Rohn (both named after Iditarod checkpoints), formally reside in Big Lake, Alaska, where the family owns and manages Happy Trails Kennel. Nikolai recently graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle. Currently, Rohn is pursuing mushing and raced alongside his Dad in this year’s Iditarod. Rohn completed his first Iditarod in 2008, as a senior in high school.
Martin spends a great deal of time speaking in schools on the humanitarian care of animals and the spirit of the Iditarod. A favorite celebrity of the children of Alaska, Martin treats them with surprise visits from his dogs and puppies.
Martin runs the race each year with his dogs to test the success of their breeding, training and physical endurance. He regards his racers as true competitive athletes and prides his team on their longevity and spirit of competition. Says Martin, “I run the Iditarod to prove that my dogs, bred, trained and raced by Happy Trails Kennels, are the best amongst the world’s long distance athletes.” For nine years, Martin’s 2002 team held the record for the Fastest Iditarod by completing the race in 8 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes and 2 seconds.
As tribute to his treatment of his racers, Martin was awarded the coveted Leonhard Seppala Award in 1988, 1993, 1995 and again in 1997 for the most humanitarian care of his dogs. The award was named for the most famous Alaskan musher who ran the longest and most dangerous stretch of the 1925, 674-mile diphtheria serum run from Nenana to Nome, which saved hundreds of lives.
Following Martin’s 2002 Iditarod victory, the process for his becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States was completed under the burled monument. He then turned around in Nome and made the trip from Nome to Big Lake with his family by snow machine.
Upon completion of the 2005 Iditarod after a woodworking accident 4 days prior to the race start resulting in the amputation of a part of his finger; he was awarded both the Sportsmanship and Most Inspirational Awards by his fellow mushers.
Martin is an honorary member of Rotary. He is always involved with some project around the kennel or house. While he and Kathy moved into the retirement home that Martin built, they are still working on finishing all the details, your typical Alaskan self-built home that is never quite finished.
In the summer, Martin and his family give tours of their working kennel. The tour begins with a DVD trip from Anchorage to Nome narrated by Buser and includes his unique anecdotal stories gathered over 23 Iditarods. Visitors are offered a glimpse of a mockup of the Cripple Checkpoint complete with campfire and wall tent. Veterinary and dog care topics are discussed and of course, there’s the cuddling of puppies. The tour ends with a riotous symphony of dogs barking as a team is hooked up and taken on a demo run to show folks the dogs in action.
Sprocketheads, LLC produced a DVD featuring the unique lifestyle made possible by training and racing sled dogs. The DVD captures a sled dog’s life from puppyhood to racing and Martin’s interaction with his athletic friends.
Mile by Mile: Martin Buser’s Iditarod is a new release DVD. In partnership with Jeff Schultz and Sprocketheads, LLC, a unique journey from Anchorage to Nome with some of the most spectacular imagines ever assembled in a DVD was created. With a combined 54 years on the trail, Jeff’s photos and Martin’s trail stories make it possible for you to “be there” on the back of the sled!
Martin is currently the musher with the most consecutive Iditarod finishes, 27 races completed in row, 29 total finishes. We are looking forward to many more and working diligently toward a fifth Iditarod win. While the race is always the final exam, the year round interaction and relationship with the dogs is the most valuable aspect of this lifestyle. On a daily basis, we are amazed by the stamina, loyalty, honesty, and joy of our dogs. Author Brian Jacques went on a ride with Martin and the team many years ago and described the dogs as “eternal children.” We couldn’t agree more. It is our good fortune to be able to take care of them.
Big Lake Susitna Veterinary Hospital
Trapper Creek Smoking Company
First Musher to the Yukon — Sponsored by Millennium Alaskan Hotel
|Checkpoint||Time In||Dogs In||Time Out||Dogs Out||Rest Time||Previous||Layover||Status||Distance|
|Enroute Time||Speed (mph)||8hr||24hr|
|Yentna||03/03/2013 17:40:00||16||03/03/2013 18:01:00||16||0h 21m||3h 40m||11.45||42|
|Skwentna||03/03/2013 20:45:00||16||03/03/2013 21:15:00||16||0h 30m||2h 44m||10.98||30|
|Finger Lake||03/04/2013 01:33:00||16||03/04/2013 01:59:00||16||0h 26m||4h 18m||9.30||40|
|Rainy Pass||03/04/2013 05:38:00||16||03/04/2013 05:40:00||16||0h 2m||3h 39m||8.22||30|
|Rohn||03/04/2013 09:53:00||16||03/05/2013 12:03:00||16||26h 10m||4h 13m||8.30||35|
|Nikolai||03/06/2013 01:15:00||16||03/06/2013 01:22:00||16||0h 7m||13h 12m||5.68||75|
|McGrath||03/06/2013 06:48:00||16||03/06/2013 10:45:00||16||3h 57m||5h 26m||8.83||48|
|Takotna||03/06/2013 13:10:00||16||03/06/2013 13:18:00||14||0h 8m||2h 25m||7.45||18|
|Ophir||03/06/2013 16:10:00||14||03/06/2013 19:48:00||14||3h 38m||2h 52m||8.02||23|
|Iditarod||03/07/2013 09:02:00||14||03/07/2013 14:00:00||14||4h 58m||13h 14m||6.05||80|
|Shageluk||03/07/2013 22:19:00||14||03/07/2013 22:40:00||14||0h 21m||8h 19m||6.61||55|
|Anvik||03/08/2013 02:17:00||14||03/08/2013 10:17:00||13||8h 0m||3h 37m||6.91||25|
|Grayling||03/08/2013 12:42:00||13||03/08/2013 12:52:00||13||0h 10m||2h 25m||7.45||18|
|Eagle Island||03/08/2013 21:55:00||13||03/09/2013 02:41:00||11||4h 46m||9h 3m||6.85||62|
|Kaltag||03/09/2013 14:24:00||11||03/09/2013 20:33:00||11||6h 9m||11h 43m||5.12||60|
|Unalakleet||03/10/2013 17:07:00||11||03/11/2013 00:53:00||11||7h 46m||19h 34m||4.34||85|
|Shaktoolik||03/11/2013 06:54:00||11||03/11/2013 12:12:00||11||5h 18m||6h 1m||6.65||40|
|Koyuk||03/11/2013 18:47:00||11||03/11/2013 22:35:00||11||3h 48m||6h 35m||7.59||50|
|Elim||03/12/2013 05:54:00||11||03/12/2013 09:44:00||11||3h 50m||7h 19m||6.56||48|
|White Mountain||03/12/2013 16:32:00||11||03/13/2013 00:32:00||11||8h 0m||6h 48m||6.76||46|
|Safety||03/13/2013 07:47:00||11||03/13/2013 07:48:00||11||0h 1m||7h 15m||7.59||55|
|Nome||03/13/2013 11:01:33||11||3h 13m||6.84||22|