The Nome Recreation Center was full of hundreds of Iditarod race fans as the 2009 Iditarod Finishers were recognized for their achievements during the thirty seventh edition of “The Last Great Race on Earth.” The Finishers Banquet was catered by the Millennium Alaskan Hotel, as dozens of volunteers from Nome and beyond served the many who attended. Below is a listing of the Awards that were awarded earlier this evening;
PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award- The recipient of the 2009 PenAir Spirit of Alaska award is Aaron Burmeister from Nenana Alaska. The award is a beautiful framed mask depicting the spirit of the “team”. Burmeister also received $500 credit for travel or freight.
GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award- Presented to Lance Mackey from Fairbanks Alaska who was the first musher to arrive in Iditarod Alaska. Lance received $2,500 in gold nuggets and a beautiful trophy.
Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage First To the Yukon Award- Presented to Lance Mackey from Fairbanks Alaska; the first Musher to arrive in Anvik Alaska on the banks of the Yukon. While in Anvik, Mackey received a nine course meal. Tonight Mackey received an additional $3,500 in one dollar bills as the “after dinner mint” for his efforts.
Wells Fargo Bank Alaska Gold Coast Award- Presented to Lance Mackey from Fairbanks Alaska. Mackey was the first musher to arrive in the Gold Coast community of Unalakleet. He was awarded a beautiful trophy and $2,500 in gold nuggets.
Nome Kennel Club Fastest Time from Safety to Nome Award- Presented by the Nome Kennel Club. The recipient for the fastest time between Safety and Nome is Ramey Smyth from Willow Alaska. He was able to complete the trek from Safety to Nome in 2 hours and 27 minutes. He received $500 for his efforts.
Horizon Lines Most Improved Musher Award- Was awarded to Dallas Seavey from Seward Alaska. Seavey received $2,000 and an engraved trophy from Horizon Lines. Dallas went from 41st position in 2007 to sixth in 2009.
Rookie of the Year- The Rookie of the Year Award has been sponsored by Jerry and Clara Austin of St. Michael Alaska since 1980. The 2009 Rookie of the Year was Chad Lindner from Brookline Massachusetts. He received $1,500 and a trophy for his efforts.
ExxonMobil 37th Iditarod Award- Exxonmobil presented an Iditarod Gold Coin (valued at $2,500) to Harry Alexi, from Bethel Alaska for being the 37th musher to arrive in Nome
Fred Meyer Sportsmanship Award- This award includes $1,000 in Fred Meyer Gift Cards and was awarded to Aaron Burmeister of Nenana Alaska for helping a musher find his team.
Chevron Most Inspirational Musher Award- Presented to Iditarod musher Trent Herbst from Ketchum Idaho. Trent received the award for the work he has done in the classroom teaching his students all about “The Last Great Race on Earth.” The honor included a trophy and $1,000 worth of Chevron gas.
Golden Clipboard Award- The 2008 Golden Clipboard is awarded to the checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail that exemplifies community teamwork The 2009 recipient is the village of Nikolai Alaska.
Golden Stethoscope Award- Awarded to the veterinarian deemed most helpful on the trail by the members of the Iditarod Official Finishers Club was awarded to Dr. Denny Albert from Denali Alaska.
Alaska Airlines Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award- is based on specific criteria to determine who has best demonstrated outstanding dog care through out the Race while remaining competitive. Alaska Airlines presented the award to Iditarod 2009 Champion Lance Mackey. Mackey received a lead crystal cup on an illuminated wooden base and two free round trip tickets to anywhere on the Alaska Airlines system.
The City of Nome Lolly Medley Golden Harness Award Winner- Originally presented by the late Lolly Medley, Wasilla harness maker and one of two women to run the second Iditarod in 1974. The award honors an outstanding lead dog, chosen by the mushers. This year’s recipient was Kuling a 9 year old member of Jessie Royer’s team from Fairbanks Alaska. Kuling has completed seven Iditarods and led her team to an 8th place finish in 2009. She was Jessie’s lead dog for all seven of her Iditarods.
Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award- Presented to the musher chosen by staff and officials as the person who most closely mimics “Herbie” in his/her attitude on the trail. This year’s recipient was Sonny Lindner from Fairbanks Alaska. He received a free freight allotment on Northern Air Cargo, $1,049 cash and a trophy.
Wells Fargo Winner’s Purse Award- Was awarded to the 2009 Iditarod Champion, Lance Mackey. This year’s award was $69,000.
Anchorage Chrysler Dodge Official Truck Award- Was awarded to the 2009 Iditarod Champion, Lance Mackey. Mackey received a 2008 Dodge Ram Laramie “HEMI” 4/x/4 quad cab pick up.
During the Banquet each musher had the opportunity to try starting a brand new 4 wheel Bombardier compliments of Northern Air Cargo. The winning key belonged to Robert Nelson from Kotzebue Alaska.
- Lance Mackey First To Yukon – Awarded With Eight Course Banquet
- Mackey Flys Into Unalakleet – First To the Coast
- Mackey Is The First To Reach Iditarod Gold
- Lance Mackey Wins Third Iditarod In A Row
- Burmeister First Into McGrath & Wins Spirit of Alaska Award