Tonight in Nome a couple of thousand people packed in to the Community Centre for the Iditarod Finishers’ Banquet and Prizegiving.

Race sponsor, the Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage, catered the event and there was something for everyone, from juicy steak to carrot cake.

As always, the best part of the evening was hearing from each musher as they came up to receive their Finisher’s patch and trophy. We heard so many great stories of camaraderie and sportsmanship, of trail challenges and wildlife encounters, and, above all, the love of the mushers for their dogs.

Congratulations to all the mushers and the prize winners tonight. See the full list here.

Some of the awards ready to be presented; the evening’s program

We are unashamedly proud of our team! Allen won the Sportsmanship Award for being “ever helpful”. This award is voted on only by mushers at the Official Finishers Club meeting after the race. Mushers make nominations and a vote is taken for the winner. Part of the recognition read “even when things are going great he is good to have around”. In one particular event during the race he stopped to help another team off the trail and stayed with them for several miles into a checkpoint. Several other younger mushers thanked him for being ever willing to answer their questions and offer advice.

Allen receives the Donlin Gold Sportsmanship Award; Aliy’s 8th place trophy awaiting presentation

Aliy told the story about how they managed to get past Pete Kaiser in the last leg of the race. It was all thanks to an arctic fox! This feisty little fox ran alongside the team on a berm next to the trail for a couple of miles and the team took off after it; while the dogs ran around one side of Pete’s team the fox ran around the other. At one stage it started hissing at the team and moving towards them! Aliy had though she was seeing things but she figured because the dogs reacted also it must have been actually happening. We’re trying to figure out if we can train the fox to run alongside the team for 1000 miles!


Everyone is off the trail! Tinder arrived into Anchorage on Saturday night and is with Linda and Kodiak.

23 Responses

  • Congratulations Allen! This is a well deserved recognition for you and a tribute to all you do for everyone involved in the sport. Safe travels to all as you head back home.

  • Warmest congratulations to both SPK Teams and Allen and Aliy.The Sportsmanship Award is awesome! What a special recognition from your fellow mushers. I know I speak for your many fans when I say how proud we are of the whole SPK team: humans and canine athletes!

  • AWESOME race and finish SP Kennel. Way to win the Sportsmanship award Allen….Eighth is superb, Aliy!! Jessie arriving in Nome w/16 is impressive. You are equally impressive!!! Rose P Nikiski fan

  • Thanks so much for this pos and beautiful pictures of SP Kennel mushers!!!

    Watched it on the computer through the last award to "Pilot" – he looked as if he was revealing some Seavey secrets in his "press conference!!!"

    Love Aliy's story!!! To hounds!!! (Like Greyhound racing???)

    This must be a team that especially likes to chase wild animals smaller than each of them individually.

    Hmmmmm – we have a very devoted Mrs. Fox who has been raising babies at the end of our street (or could be a differeny Mrs. Fox – this has been going on for YEARS)…

    Anyway, sounds like a plan…for Iditarod XLVI


    P.S. Boy, isn't Tinder a gorgeous and personable sled doggie – WOOF!!!

  • So happy for Allen – reaffirms what a class act we fans have always known you are! It must be great for mid/back of the packers to have a Yukon Quest and Copper Basin champion around to be a coach if they need one. Allen always has such a positive attitude that he's bound to lift anyone's spirits. Glad all the dogs are off the trail and that soon everyone will be back to the comforts of SPK. Good luck with training the arctic fox – LOL! But if anyone could do it, I bet Aliy, Allen, Chris, Ruth, et al. could.

    Thanks for all the coverage you've provided during race season. I love to follow the best mushers, the best dogs, and the best support team from the best kennel. Always proud to be a fan of SPK.

  • GREAT dog blog…thanks! Looking for a place on your home page stating awards ….other mushers list these. ADD the list of awards to your page please, OK!? Folks want to read that Aliy won the Seppala award three times!!

  • What a team! Congratulations Aliy and Allen on another successful and exciting racing season. It has been such a joy and pleasure to follow you down the trail. You and all the SP Kennel team are not just awesome competitors, but really just such good people. We are so proud to be one of your sponsors. Hugs to all the team.

    Ann and Tom
    Mt. Juliet, TN

  • Oh the joys of modern technology–watched the whole event on the live feed from Myanmar (Burma). I took the morning off from work just to hear stories of the trail. Am super proud as always of SP Kennel. -Wendy

  • I got to see Allen on the live feed :-), but had to leave for work before Aliy 🙁

    Congratulations Allen for the awesome recognition of your sportsmanship.

    Congratulations to both team for a fantastic finish.

    I wish I could have heard the fox story, sure sounds like a sleep deprived hallucination, lol. But I think most things would near the end of a competitive Iditarod race.

  • Lol….I will sponsor the fox! I am so proud of SPK, and proud to be a fan of Commando. Allen, Aliy, Staff, and dogs are all such an inspiration! I also love the dog log, and the way you all make us feel part of the team. Thank you for another exciting season, we wish you all the best. ZIrkle On, Lead On!
    Tammy, Sue, Willow and Palmer

  • We were jumping for joy when we heard Allens name announced! He so deserves that recognition!! Great story about the fox…yes…a foxy strategy for next season! Safe travels to everyone!

  • Super. I stayed up until 1230 AM EDT to see Aliy accept her trophy and speak. Congrats Allen.

    Laine Family

  • Congratulations Aliy, Allen and the four legged team members for a fine finish to the season. I watched the live feed part of the way through, but did not get to finish it so I missed Aliy's fox story too. I'll look for it on the ID Website if they post it there. Very glad that Tinder is in Anchorage and awaiting his ride home with the others. Safe travels home to everyone. SPK is the best!

  • What a darling fox story!! They are interesting and playful creatures, so delighted for you in your awards, so very proud to be a part of SP Kennel followers and the wonderful team you continue to be!! Yippie!! Go Red Team, Go Black Team !! Love you guys to bits!!

  • PS, thanks for the photo post of my boy Kodiak with Tinder and Linda, he is looking well cared for and tremendously loved! So sorry he could not take you through to the finish this year, perhaps things will be better next year!

  • I saw Allen and Aliy get there position awards but missed Allen's
    Sportsmanship Award. Congrats and well deserved Allen! You both
    are such Great attitudes. Fantastic Season!

  • Congratulations Allen, well deserved recognition. You should win it every year! Great story about the fox, Aliy. We can start training here & ship to Fairbanks!!
    SPK is the best. Welcome back to home base and into your own beds & dog houses.

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