Iditarod 52 – Special Award Recipients & Prize Purse Payouts

The 2024 special awards given to mushers during and after Iditarod 52  were presented at the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race awards banquet in Nome, Alaska on the evening of Sunday,  March 17, 2024.  These special awards are listed below:


Alaska Air Transit Spirit of Alaska Award 

The Alaska Air Transit Spirit of Alaska Award was first given out in 2019. This year, it was  given to the first musher to reach the Nikolai checkpoint. The winning musher  received: 

  • A pair of musher’s mitts with Beaver and beaded leather by Loretta Maillelle of McGrath
  • A beaver hat handmade by Oline Petruska of Nikolai
  • A Pendelton wool blanket from Alaska Air Transit
    • Winner:  Mille Porsild


GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award 

Presented by GCI since 1994, the 2024 award was given to the first musher to arrive at the Iditarod checkpoint. The winning musher received:  

  • $3,000 in gold nuggets  
  • A perpetual trophy made of Alaskan birch and marble and featuring a photograph of the late Dorothy G. Page
    • Winner:  Dallas Seavey


The First Musher to the Yukon Award 

Presented since 1983, the 2024 award was given to the first musher to the Yukon given  at the Ruby checkpoint. The winning musher receives: 

  • A five-course, gourmet dinner prepared at the checkpoint by Top Chefs from Locally Grown Restaurants, which owns the popular Anchorage eateries Spenard Roadhouse, Snow City Cafe, Crush Wine Bistro and South Restaurant and Coffeehouse.
  • Dinner for 12 at South Restaurant and Coffeehouse to be redeemed at the winner’s discretion.
    • Winner:  Nicolas Petit


Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award 

This award has been presented by Bristol Bay Native Corporation since 2014 to the first  musher to reach the Kaltag checkpoint. The winning musher received: 

  • A $2,000 check 
  • A certificate for 25 pounds of fresh-caught, Bristol Bay salmon filets  
  • Wood-burned art piece by BBNC shareholder and artist Apay’uq Moore 
    • Winner:  Travis Beals

Ryan Air Gold Coast Award  

The Ryan Air Gold Coast Award was first given out in 2019. It is given to the  first musher to reach the Unalakleet checkpoint. The winning musher received:  

  • One ounce in gold nuggets (valued at $1,500)   
  • A beautiful hand-carved loon by Mark Tetpon
  • Ryan Air merchandise 
    •  Winner:  Jessie Jolmes


Northrim Bank Achieve More Award 

This award was first given out in 2018. Northrim Bank presented the award to the first  musher to reach the White Mountain checkpoint. The winning musher received:  

  •  A check for $2,500 
    • Winner:  Dallas Seavey

Rookie of the Year Award 

This award has been presented since 1980 to the top-placing rookie. In 2024, the  musher received:  

  • A $2,000 check 
  • A commemorative trophy 
    • Winner:  Josie Thyr, who finished in 15th place in 10 days, 6 hours, 43 minutes and 37 seconds with 10 dogs in harness. 


Nome Kennel Club Fastest Time from Safety to Nome 

Presented by the Nome Kennel Club since 1973, this award goes to the musher with the  fastest time from the Safety checkpoint to the finish in Nome. The musher received a  $500 check. 

  • Winner: Nic Petit


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

This new award, presented by the Nome Kennel Club in memory of Howard Farley, honors perseverance on the trail.  All finishers who did not place in the Top 20 have been entered for their chance to win $500.

  • Winner: Lara Kittelson


Lynden “Committed through the Last Mile” Red Lantern Award 

Presented since 1973, the Red Lantern Award is given to the final finisher of the Iditarod  Trail Sled Dog Race®. Lynden is sponsoring the award and the winning musher received:

  • Red Lantern Trophy
  • $1,000 check
    • Winner: Jeff Reid

Most Improved Musher Award 

This award is presented to the musher who bettered his/her previous finish by the most  places. With a 23 year gap between his Iditarod runnings, with a 40th place finish in 2001 to a 11th place finish this year.  The winning musher received: 

  •  $2,000 in cash 
  • A commemorative trophy 
    • Winner:  Wally Robinson


Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award 

Presented since 1977 to the musher demonstrating sportsmanship, the recipient of the  Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award is chosen by fellow mushers. The winning musher  received:  

  • $3,000 check 
  • A commemorative plaque 

o Winner: Matthew Failor


Hilcorp Alaska Most Inspirational Musher Award 

Presented since 2010 to the most inspirational musher and now sponsored by Hilcorp Alaska as of this year, the recipient of the Most Inspirational Musher Award is chosen by fellow mushers. The winning musher  received:

  • Paid entry fee for the 2025 Iditarod 
    • Winner: Jessica Klejka

Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award 

The Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award has been presented since  2007 to the person who emulates “Herbie: The Shishmaref CannonBall” in his/her  attitude on the trail. Race staff and officials choose the recipient.  The winning musher  received:

  •  $1,049 in “pocket change” inside a Northern Air Cargo jacket. 
  • Beautiful handmade crafts by the Nayokpuk family
    • Winner: Matthew Failor


Golden Clipboard Award 

Presented since 2001 to the most outstanding checkpoint, this award is chosen by the Iditarod Official Finisher’s Club with 2024 finishing members in attendance.

  • Winner:  Ophir checkpoint


Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award presented by the Pike Dog Wellness First Initiative 

Presented since 1982 to a musher that demonstrates outstanding dog care while remaining competitive throughout the race, the recipient of the Leonhard Seppala  Humanitarian Award is chosen by the veterinary team. The musher received:  

  • A commemorative trophy 
  • Paid entry fee for the 2025 Iditarod 
    •  Winner: Wally Robinson


City of Nome Lolly Medley Memorial Golden Harness Award 

Presented in honor of the late Lolly Medley, a Wasilla harness maker and one of two  women to run the second Iditarod, since in 1974. The recipient is chosen by mushers  and awarded to the most outstanding lead dog. The canine athlete received an  embroidered gold-colored harness.  

  • Winner: Aero (Dallas Seavey’s team)


With the final finisher crossing under the burled arch in Nome on Saturday, March 16, 2024 the Iditarod Trail Committee is able to announce the official breakdown of the race purse by finishing position. This breakdown is determined based on the number of total finishers, coming in at 29 for the 2024 race.

Below is a chart that details the prize money for places 1- 20, as well as the $2,000 payment for the remaining finishers (21-29), which totals $550,000 for the 2024 Iditarod prize purse: