ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The 2012 Iron Dog snowmachine race was won Saturday afternoon by Team 17’s Marc McKenna and Dusty VanMeter, who pulled into Fairbanks at 12:22 p.m. to end a remarkable 2,000-mile run from Big Lake.
Their closest competition in the race’s final hours came from Team 6 drivers Tyler Huntington and Tre West, who arrived in Fairbanks at 1:06 PM.
McKenna and VanMeter have each been in the winner’s circle of the Iron Dog before, but this is their first time there together. It’s also the first time the race’s winners have driven Ski-Doo sleds to the finish line, an important detail for drivers heavily subsidized by corporate sponsorships.
Team 17 pulled ahead of the pack on the home stretch to the race’s Nome midpoint Tuesday afternoon, beating local favorite Team 10’s Mike Morgan and Chris Olds into town and claiming a $10,000 prize for being first into town. Morgan and Olds took a geographical lead during Thursday’s restart, reaching Kaltag ahead of McKenna and VanMeter, but the duo kept the crucial race lead on overall time.