Norwegian Musher Thomas Waerner Wins Iditarod XLVIII
Thomas Waerner’s leaders K2 and Bark where the traditional rose garlands after the team won the 2020 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Front Street in Nome. Waerner finished the race across Alaska from Anchorage to Nome in a time of 9 days, 10 hours, and 37 minutes.
NOME—Veteran Iditarod musher Thomas Waerner (bib #40), of Torpa, Norway, crossed under the burled arch in Nome at 12:37 a.m. today, claiming his first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race championship. Waerner had 10 dogs in harness when he glided across the finish line to win the Iditarod XLVIII title at 9 days, 10 hours, 37 minutes and 47 seconds.
Waerner becomes the third musher from Norway to win the Iditarod. This is only his second time competing in the Iditarod. He placed 17th in his first Iditarod race in 2015, claiming rookie of the year honors. He continues the streak of Iditarod mushers finishing the race in under 10 days, a streak that now stands at 26.
Of course, Waerner didn’t make it to Nome without the help of his race team. His 14-member race team included: Bibbi, K2, King, Kahiv, Kroll, Bew, Mercedes, Thllus, Radius, Pav, Sackie, Bark, Delta, and Luke.
Winning Iditarod XLVIII fulfills a childhood dream of Waerner’s and adds to his eight international sled dog racing medals. He also won the 2019 Finnmarksløpet, the longest sled dog race in Europe.
When not training with his canine athletes, Waerner runs a technology company in Norway. He is part of the QRILL Pet Mushing Team, the world’s first professional long-distance sled dog team with the goal of advancing pet nutrition and championing new research to increase the health and happiness of canine athletes. Waerner’s wife Guro is a veterinarian and plays a big role in maintaining their kennel’s quality of life.
Thomas Waerner’s sled dog team enters the finish chute.
Mushers currently on the Iditarod trail will continue to make their way to Nome. The race finishes when the last musher crosses under the burled arch, claiming the “red lantern,” a long-standing Iditarod tradition and symbol of perseverance. The Iditarod awards banquet traditionally held the Sunday following the champion’s finish will be held at a later date.
For more information or to follow the race, visit www.Iditarod.com.
Waerner raises his arms in triumph after being declared the winner by Nome checker Urtho Lenharr.
In This Issue
Spreading the Word
When Bristol Bay Native Corporation (BBNC) first aired TV commercials featuring the tagline, “A Place That’s Always Been,” the reaction was surprising. Not only because they received numerous accolades and marketing awards for the campaign but because, at the time, it was rare for Alaska Native corporations to market themselves through the media.