Nineteen year old rookie Noah Pereira has finished his first Iditarod. He was met by his family, friends and his proud mentor, Wade Marrs at the burled arch. Pereira was the first musher to arrive on March 18 at 0141. He was the leader of the thirteen mushers we expect to celebrate with under the burled arch today. There were 17 rookies in the 2016 Iditarod. For his age, this guy was sensational. He has a winning attitude, he’s eager to learn and has an ever present smile.
Answering questions before he signed off the trail, Noah said he had a lot of fun this year and he hopes to come back next year. He said he learned a great deal. His dogs were wonderful, so wonderful that he had a hard time keeping up with them. For sure they came into the chute with a lot of energy and didn’t seem to be interested in stopping. They would have preferred to take a gee or haw off Front Street before the chute and head out of town.
Noah is the Jr. Iditarod Champion from 2013. He was the first non Alaskan to win that race. Noah, raised in Brockport, New York, met some local mushers and soon began mushing. He came to Alaska during the winters of ’13, ’14 and 15 with his dad to learn more about the sport and complete qualifiers for the Iditarod.
For his rookie Iditarod, he ran some of his own dogs and some younger dogs from mentor Wade Marrs‘ kennel. His goal was to finish with a healthy happy dog team. He looked just as awesome under the arch last night as he did at mile 311 in McGrath. Noah finished in 55th place with a time of 11 days, 10 hours and 41 minutes. Well done Noah. Wear that Iditarod finisher’s belt buckle with pride.
Ever smiling and effervescent Miriam Osredkar made the burled arch at 0212 this morning. She secured 56th place with a time of 11 days, 11 hours and 12 minutes. Miriam was delighted to be on the trail this year running young dogs from Joar Leifseth Ulsom’s kennel. Following a very conservative run-rest schedule, she was in no hurry to get to Nome. Her dogs came into the race like kindergarten or first graders and finished the race as middle, if not high school graduates. They had fun on the trail, matured greatly and judging by their energy and enthusiasm in Nome, they have a bright future ahead. She was excited to arrive in Nome and bragged up her team as she introduced them. She said the gorge wasn’t a problem, instead it was the Farewell Burn that had her pretty scared. Her 16 dogs were felling good in the Burn and it was hard to slow them down. Miriam and the dogs came into Nikolai in great shape however her sled didn’t fair as well. She finished with a borrowed sled. Miriam praised her sister leaders saying they far exceeded her expectations.
Tom Jamgochian brought his dogs off the sea ice this morning to his home town of Nome. As one might expect there was a large crowd, even at 0245 in the morning, to welcome Tom and celebrate his accomplishment. The first to arrive at the burled arch was Tom’s wife and their baby. Other folks showed up with “official” banners proclaiming Couch Dog Kennel – 17 sled dogs, 15 miles north of Nome.
Tom was born in San Francisco and came to Anchorage for a one year legal job.He moved to Bethel, then to Fairbanks and Nome. One year has turned into several. Tom married an Alaskan and considers Nome home. By profession Tom is an Assistant District Attorney and by avocation he’s a musher.
When asked about favorite moments on the trail, he said they have family in Nikolai. When he was there, he was given a hat that had been specially made for his newborn. He delivered the hat to his wife and child immediately upon setting his snow hook in Nome. When Tom was married, there was a “clause” in the marriage vows limiting his kennel to 13 dogs. They’re over by four and still happily married. Tom completed his rookie Iditarod in 57th place with a time of 11 days, 11 hours and 45 minutes.