Often rookies who run the Iditarod have done other races.
Although the Iditarod requires a long-distance qualifying race,
most mushers have run more than one.
This year's top rookie, was not an exception.
This year's 13th place was earned by a rookie-- 32-year old Brent Sass of Wild and Free Mushing.
Here he is being escorted in the usual way down Front Street by the police.
One of his handlers helped keep the dogs moving towards the chute as the
escort turned off.
(The snow has to be hauled in to make the trail down the center of the street)
The teams enter the chute and must stop under the arch to stop the clock.
Each sled is required to carry specific supplies which might be needed on the trail
as well as their mail cache.
The first thing eVeRy good musher does,
is "snack their dogs" and thank them for a well-done job!
They have to do this with microphones and cameras shoved in their faces by the media..
some reporters are a little more kind than others.
And then they answer questions.
These dogs look ready to keep going.
Note the different ears...sled dogs come in all shapes and breeds!
This one was next on the line.
It was tickled to get attention from the handlers as they removed booties.
(See the pile of them on the right side of the picture?)
then happily rolled, shook and repeated-- repeatedly :o)
The next pair on the line were a bit calmer.
Before the team can officially be declared a finisher, they must show everything on the checklist to the checker.
Next is food, a shower and sleep!
The order can vary.....