The 2014 Iron Dog finished on the Chena River last Saturday. The team of Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad won the 2,000 mile snowmachine race, the longest one of its kind in the world.
The race follows a twisting route between Big Lake and Fairbanks. It was a race fraught with surprises. Favorites four-time winner Todd Palin and two-time winner Tyler Huntington scratched less than 100 miles into the race due to problems with a snowmachine.
Minimal snow made the trail hard packed and difficult. Usually, part of the race route goes over sea ice in the Norton Sound. Part way through the race, officials changed the route to go overland due to the condition of the ice.
Minnick and Olstad have both won the race before. Minnick and Olstad won together back in 2009, and Olstad won with a different partner back in 2005.
Defending champions Dusty VanMeter and Marc McKenna took second. The team was looking for a three-peat, having won in both 2012 and 2013. VanMeter won with different partners in 2005 and 2008. McKenna won with different partners in 2000, 2002 and 2004.
Mike Morgan and two-time winner Chris Olds took third. Olds won in 2010 and 2011 with a different partner.
The first and third place teams both drove Polaris snowmachines. VanMeter and McKenna drove Ski-Doos.