by Kevin Wells
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
NOME, Alaska -- Top 10 finishes are routine for most of this year's elite in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but not Hugh Neff. The musher from Tok made his Top 10 debut in his seventh Iditarod appearance. Neff checked into Nome in ninth place at 1:52 Wednesday morning.
Like some of his contemporaries, Neff has made racing the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod back-to-back an annual occurrence.
He has 15 finishes in 1,000-mile races since the year 2000, and although he dropped six spots in the final 250 miles, Neff still enjoyed his finest season ever, but he cherishes the lifestyle over the race experience itself.
"More than being a top Iditarod musher, what I'm so lucky to be is great friends with Ray Redington and Lance Mackey, so I don't need a first-place trophy. I've got those guys. They're my trophies," Neff said early Wednesday morning.