I covered the 2017 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for Alaska Public Media and KNOM Radio. I’ve covered the finish of the race before when I began at KNOM in 2010 and reported from the trail of the Kuskokwim 300 when I worked in Bethel. The Iditarod is a different beast: the race never slows down and you have to have a certain hustle to get your story in order from remote checkpoints.
I positioned myself at the front of the pack to track the leaders as they set a record pace on the trail from Fairbanks to Nome. I flew in a 1961 Supercub with Rob Jones Jr. to keep up with Mitch Seavey, Dallas Seavey, Wade Marrs and Jessie Royer.
In between shuffling myself to checkpoints from Fairbanks to Nome and fighting battery-sucking temperatures of -40, I write, voiced, and mixed daily packaged audio stories to APRN, KNOM as well as content to NPR. As I tend to specialize in deadline-driven work, the Iditarod served as an ideal place to speed-mix packages from Bering Strait school cafetrias and quickly snythesize mushing history from Huslia.
The daily Iditapod podcast was a new collaboration among myself, Zach Hughes, and Josh Edge to tap into the firehose of interviews, news, and personalities along the trail.
We know that there is widespread interest in the Iditarod among power listeners in Alaska and the Lower 48 and other fans who are interesting in knowing more than what the leaderboard and photos provide. Inspired in part by the daily (and “emergency”) podcasts during the 2016 election, the podcast provided a curated synthesis of the most important and unique parts of the race that spread over hundreds of miles of remote trails.