Veteran Iditarod musher Aqayauq Reitan (bib #47) of Kaktovik, Alaska, is the final musher to reach Nome on March 19th at 11:39 p.m. with seven dogs.
In its inaugural year as a sponsor, Lynden chose to honor the Red Lantern finisher for their perseverance and commitment to completing the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race through unexpected challenges. According to historians, awarding the red lantern as the final finisher has become an Alaska tradition in sled dog racing.
As the Red Lantern winner, Reitan receives $1,000 and has the honor of extinguishing the widow’s lamp on the burled arch in Nome. The symbol of the widow’s lamp dates back to when roadhouses were used in Alaska and extinguishing the lamp is a signal that no other mushers are out on the trail.
The “Committed through the Last Mile” Red Lantern Award will be re-presented to Reitan at the Iditarod finishers banquet on Sunday, March 20.