Iditarod 2020 roster stocked with past champions — with one notable exception

Iditarod 2019 champion Pete Kaiser and his dogs Marrow and Lucy at the end of the 1,000-mile race in Nome, March 13, 2019. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

Fifty-eight mushers have signed up for the 2020 Iditarod. It promises to be a competitive field, with six former champions registered to run the thousand-mile race, along with numerous other top teams.

Among the winners returning to the trail in March are recent winners Pete Kaiser of Bethel, Norwegian Joar Ulsom, and Seward’s Mitch Seavey. Past four-time winners Lance Mackey, Jeff King, and Martin Buser are also signed up.

So far, there are 12 rookies slated to run as well.

One noticeable name missing from the roster is Dallas Seavey. The four-time champion has not competed in the Iditarod since a scandal in 2017 when four dogs on his team tested positive for a banned substance, although race officials have since apologized for how the incident was handled. Since then, there have been substantial changes in the Iditarod Trail Committee’s board and governing rules.

Dec. 2 was the last day for mushers to sign up without paying a hefty late fee. Potential competitors have until mid-February to decide if they want to sign up.

This year’s trail follows the northern route for the first time since 2016, leaving Willow on March 8 and heading through Ruby, Galena and Nulato along the way to the Norton Sound coast.

Why a wilderness lodge in the middle of nowhere became a magnet for mushers

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