The Last Musher On The Trail Has Arrived…
In Nome Alaska! Thirty Seven Year Old Celeste Davis, from Deer Lodge Montana, is the last musher to make it under the Burled Arch on Front Street in Nome. Her arrival signifies the end of the 2010 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Davis arrived in Nome at 8:06 pm with 9 dogs on her team. She will also go into the Iditarod history books as the fastest “Red Lantern” arriving in Nome in 13 days, 5 hours, 6 minutes, and 40 seconds.
The Story of the Widow’s Lamp
During the days of Alaska sled dog freighting and mail carrying, dog drivers relied on a series of roadhouses between their village destinations. Since these mushers ventured out in most all kinds of weather, for safety reasons they found the idea that pilots rely on, known today as the flight plan. Word was relayed ahead that a musher and team were on the trail, and a kerosene lamp was lit and hung outside the roadhouse. It not only helped the dog driver find his destination at night, but more importantly, it signified that a team or teams were somewhere out on the trail. The lamp was not extinguished until the musher safely reached his destination.
In keeping with that tradition, the Iditarod Trail Committee will light a “Widow’s Lamp” at 10:00 a.m., on the first Sunday in March, in Nome at the trail’s end. This lamp, which will be attached to the Burled Arch, our official finish line, will remain lit as long as there are mushers on the trail competing in the race. When the last musher crosses the finish line, officials will extinguish the “Widow’s Lamp” signifying the official end of the Iditarod for that year.
All too often, public and media think of the race as being over when the winner crosses the finish line, yet there are still teams on the trail. We hope you will find this often overlooked part of the race worthy of your attention. There are many very good stories about these other mushers on the trail.
History of the Red Lantern
Often the “Red Lantern” is confused with the “Widow’s Lamp.” They are not the same. An article several years ago in Alaska magazine states that the first red lantern was awarded in the 1953 Fur Rendezvous Race. According to Alaska,
“Awarding a red lantern for the last place finisher in a sled dog race has become an Alaskan tradition. It started as a joke and has become a symbol of stick-to-itiveness in the mushing world.”
Newton Marshall, the Jamaican Musher has now finished the Iditarod.
His time of 12 Days 4 Hours 27 Minutes and 28 Seconds, would have made him the winner in 1981 when Rick Swenson broke the 12 day mark.
9 Mushers remain on the Trail.
Congratulations and Good Run Mahn!!
Twenty-six year old Jamaican, Oswald “Newton” Marshall began mushing in 2005 after an operations manager at Chukka Cove, saw something special in Newton and handpicked him to look after a trio of new dogs at Chukka Cove Farm.
Newton’s exuberance and special way with animals propelled him on a journey to the snow and great outdoors to train with huskies. In November 2007, it was decided that Newton would train and race to qualify for the Yukon Quest. Marshall left sunny Jamaica and arrived in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada to begin his long distance training with three-time Yukon Quest winner Hans Gatt.
Marshall was up to the task and March 27-28, 2008 he finished 7th in a field of 15 in the 210-mile Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race and received the Sportsmanship Award from his fellow mushers. Marshall then successfully completed Alaska’s Copper Basin 300 (Jan 10 to 13, 2009) placing 13th in a field of 27 starts.
On February 26, 2009, Marshall became the first Jamaican ever to finish the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race. He did so finishing 13th out of a field of 29 mushers. For his perseverance despite the odds against him, race officials selected Marshall as the recipient of the Challenge of the North Award.
The Boys from the Bush, Kaiser, Williams, and Iten, were together for just a bit. This evening, the last of the trio, Quinn Iten, crossed the line at 8:23pm. Now it’s time for everyone to relax and share stories of the trail as they wait for the Mushers banquet on Sunday.
Congratulations Quinn on a fine finish!
A bit about Quinn-
Quinn Iten, will be 18 in December of this year and the youngest musher to enter the 2010 Iditarod and one of the youngest ever to run the Iditarod. The son of Iditarod veteran, Ed Iten, Quinn said he thought it was “only natural” that he would run the Iditarod before he leaves home. Since the age of four, he was raised on a homestead in northwestern Alaska, 30 miles above the Arctic Circle. Their family included five horses, 12 chickens, 2 goats and about 60 sled dogs. He ran his first race at the age of six and ever since, has wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps and one day race the Iditarod. A veteran of the Jr. Iditarod, where his best finish was third in 2008, Quinn is a senior in high school and will graduate in December of this year. Next year, he plans to attend the University of Alaska at Fairbanks but says “I have no clue what I will major in.” Quinn says he enjoys “hunting, fishing, horses, rock climbing and anything else exciting and outdoors.”
Man- I never thought it would happen so fast!
I was rushing home, but alas, not in time!!
Lance Mackey- First Four Time in a Row Winner NOME- IN-14:59 DOGS-11
2nd Fastest Time on Record 8 Days 23 Hrs 59 minutes 9 Seconds
For winning the Iditarod, Lance Mackey gets a new Dodge truck and $50,400.
Congratulations to a Great Champion!
No Photos from the Finish, but let’s look at last years Winning Photo:
2013 Kobuk 440
Final Musher list
Dempsey Woods Sr.
Race starts at 12:30pm on the ice in front of the Nullagvik Hotel in Kotzebue Alaska. It is a mass start. Village order is Kotzebue, Noorvik, Kiana, Ambler, Shugnak, Kobuk, Shungnak, Ambler, Selawik, Noorvik, Kotzebue.
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