Eye on the Trail: Recipients of 2024 Special Awards

Alaska Air Transit Spirit of Iditarod Award – Mille Porsild

Beaver fur musher’s mitts with beadwork on moose hide (handmade by Loretta Maillelle), a beaver fur hat (handmade by Oline Petruska) as well as a Pendelton wool blanket from Alaska Air Transit is presented to the first musher who reaches the Nikolai checkpoint.


GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award – Dallas Seavey

The first musher to Cripple has the choice of $3,000 in gold nuggets symbolic of the history of this interior area of the Iditarod Mining District or a brand-new smartphone with a year of free service from GCI. A beautiful perpetual trophy made of Alaskan birch and marble and featuring a photograph of the late Dorothy G. Page remains year-round at Iditarod headquarters.


First Musher to the Yukon – Nicolas Petit

Gourmet dinner prepared by Top Chefs from Locally Grown Restaurants.


Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award – Travis Beals

A Check for $2,000 and 25 pounds of Bristol Bay salmon


Ryan Air Gold Coast Award – Jessie Holmes

The winning musher receives $1,500 in gold nuggets and a hand carved loon.


Northrim Bank Achieve More Award – Dallas Seavey

A Check for $2,500


Nome Kennel Club Fastest Time From Safety to Nome – Nicolas Petit – 2hrs, 18 min

$500 to the musher who finishes in the top 20 and has the fastest time from Safety to Nome.


Howard Farley Sr. Memorial Award presented by the Nome Kennel Club – Lara Kittelson

All finishers not placing in the top 20 will be entered for their chance to win $500. 


Rookie Of the Year – Josi Thyr 

The top-placing rookie receives a beautiful trophy, along with a check for $2,000.


Lynden “Committed Through the Last Mile” Red Lantern Award – Jeff Reid

$1000 is given to the final team to cross the finish line.


Most Improved Musher Award – Wally Robinson 40th to 11th

 The winner receives $2,000 in cash and a commemorative trophy.


Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award – Matthew Failor

The best sportsman on the trail is selected by peers and receives $3,000 and a plaque.


Hilcorp Alaska Most Inspirational Musher Award – Jessica Klejka

The Most Inspirational Musher is chosen by fellow mushers and receives a paid entry fee for the following year’s Iditarod.


Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award – Matthew Failor

The individual chosen by the checkers in the checkpoints who best epitomizes Herbie Nayokpuk’s spirit of mushing the Iditarod receives $1,049 in pocket change, a Northern Air Cargo jacket, an ivory carved dog team and other hand crafted gifts from the Nayokpuk family. 


Golden Clipboard Award – Ophir

The award presented by the Iditarod Official Finishers Club goes to the checkpoint the mushers feel is the most helpful along the trail.  The Forsgren family has hosted the checkpoint since the first Iditarod in 1973.


City of Nome Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness Award – Aero

Lolly Medley, Wasilla harness maker and one of only two women to run the second Iditarod in 1974, began presenting a golden harness to an outstanding lead dog chosen by the mushers, in 1977. Lolly Medley died in August 1996. The award continues in her honor now presented by the City of Nome. 


Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award Presented by the Pike Dog Wellness First InitiativeWally Robinson

The recipient is a top-twenty finisher who demonstrates outstanding dog care.  Chosen by the veterinarians, the recipient receives a crystal trophy, entry fee for the following race and $1,000 allocated to vet care or dog food.


Northern Air Cargo 4-wheeler Drawing – Bailey Vitello

A virtual key is presented to each musher who then tries to start the 4-wheeler with their key. There is only one right key and the one who starts the 4-wheeler wins it.