Sunday, March 16, 2014

ID: Finishers' Banquet and Prize Giving

A capacity crowd filled the Nome Convention Centre for the finishers' banquet and prize giving this evening. The meal put on by the Millennium Hotel was fantastic and the mood was fun; we were entertained by songs by the legendary Hobo Jim.

As each musher came up on stage we heard story after story of how they all helped each other out at various stages on the trail: helping fix broken sleds, untangling teams, patching up knees and ankles, travelling together in bad weather conditions and giving the occasional pep talk. Travis Beals told a story about how he was feeling a bit down in the dumps when Allen walked by and asked him what was wrong. Travis said he didn't think he could finish the race and apparently Allen told him to "put your big boy pants on and get zesty!" and that was his motto from then on. Travis thanked Allen - he finished the race with nine happy dogs.

Mike Williams Jnr won the Sportsmanship Award and I heard several mushers describe him as their guardian angel; at the right place at the right time and he was only too willing to help. Newton Marshall won the NAC Herbie Nayokpuk Award for his spirit and attitude during the Iditarod and Aaron Burmeister the most Exxon Mobil Mushers Choice award for most inspirational musher. All three of those awards are voted on my their fellow mushers.

The trail awards were "re-awarded" during the evening - Aliy received Bristol Bay Native Corporation First Fish Award as the first musher to Galena checkpoint and the Wells Fargo Gold Coast Award for the first musher to Unalakleet.

When Aliy was on stage to accept her 2nd place award she told the story of her run from White Mountain and how, when she got to Safety she was so worried about Jeff and his dog team. Right then the race became something else; it wasn't about racing the Iditarod any more and her "race" was over. She said "I have no regrets, it was a fantastic race and congratulations Dallas Seavey! She then got the 13 women who finished the race to stand up (as a response to a women in Unalakleet whose boyfriend thought women were sissies). She said to them "I don't feel like a sissy - do you?"

Congratulations to all the other award winners tonight. Particularly to the 2014 Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey who received a standing ovation. Check out the Iditarod Facebook page for more details about the award winners this evening.

I have to say the best line of the night and the one that got the most laughs was from Mitch Seavey. He said that Aliy and Dallas are among the toughest mushers he had raced and his hat's off to them "but I'll never get used to losing to women and children".

I'll work on some video over the next couple of days but in the meantime here are a few pics.

Aliy's awards; Hobo Jim entertained us all

The trophy table


Nessmuk said...

Congrats Aliy and Allen for finishing and surviving this incredibly difficult trail!! The Red and Black SPK Teams are absolutely the best!! I'm probably not the only SPK Fan who has woken up numerous times this weekend with the first thought of "got to look at the tracker" just to remember the race is over and everyone is safely in Nome! It takes me some time to come off the Iditarod "high" .....I can only imagine what the mushers feel!! Now with the Banquet over there is some finality to the race....time to get your crew back HOME for some well deserved rest!! Safe travels SPK!! You did GREAT!

Jim S. said...

Thank you all for another fantastic ride down the trail. SP Kennel is mushing at it's best
....Great dogs and great people
working together with strength, skill, intelligence and dedication.

Lourdes, VT said...

Congratulations again to Aliy and Allen and their teams !!!!!
Seems like everybody was in great spirits!!!!
Thank you to all of you at SP Kennel for sharing all these experiences with us!!!!
How are the dogs going home? By plane or in the truck?
Please keep us posted!
We love you all!!!

MG said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for all your efforts in keeping us all "in the loop" - you have done an amazing job with the website. And thanks to to others who have chipped in this racing season, as well!!!

Always grateful,


Anonymous said...

I don't know how many times I have typed this over the last two weeks but it is worth doing so one more time. I am so proud of SP Kennel and the manner you take care of your family, both 2 legged and 4 legged family. I have such a deep admiration for you Aliy and laugh at the thought that someone might think you were a sissy! And Allen, your "big boy pants" talk with Travis put a smile on my face. You two are a class act and an inspiration! Thank you for being YOU! Can't hardly wait for next mushing season because I know you both will be right back at it with those fabulous pups! Take care of yourselves and come back even stronger next year!

Linda Toth said...

You did not mention Golden Harness, so, I assume that fantastic and wonderful, wonderful dog, Quito, was not awarded the Golden Harness again .. Melissa B and I will grump around about that for a while.

Anonymous said...

Who decides on the Humanitarian award? It should have gone to Aliy this year instead of Buser. I know folks love Buser, but I think he runs his dogs too hard. Aliy's rest in Safety shows her commitment to her dogs well-being!

Tom, Cindy & Hoss said...

Congrats Allen, Aliy and all at SP Kennel ('specially the 4-legged athletes!!). You are going to need to build a Hall of Fame for all your awards!! Rest up and mend for next season!

tmcaleer said...

Happy St. Patty's day to you I too am on an Iditarod withdrawl right now, checking in on the page for additional crumbs of information about the wrapping up of the event.

It was a tremendous twist and turn of events, you are all made of strong will and determination to have finished. I commend every one of the mushers and dogs with the conditions this year. Just incredible. Safe journey back to Two Rivers when you depart with your team.

Thanks again,

Trish McAleer

Holly Freeman said...

Mushers stick together...there's a community there of helping and support. The banquet sounds wonderful.

Does Allen know about the Zesty salad dressing commercial where the guy gets kind of naked?...I gotta tell you that's what I vibed on...get zesty! Hilarious. Allen you must check it out if you haven't seen it.

Really appreciate hearing Aliy's perspective about Safety and love the "sissy" comments.

Whew, what an Iditarod. So many dramatic tales this year!!
Bet you'll be glad to get home!

RED and BLACK you are awesome!! We are so proud of you!

Faith Gerber said...

Thanks so much for posting, and keeping us updated. Following Aliy in the Iditarod this year been an inspirational journey!

Anonymous said...

Very tough to express feelings for all of this... the kennels, the hero dogs and hero people involved... Mushers and support folk alike... there is NOTHING not to love and respect... thanks all - commenters too! julia in NM ...

Anonymous said...

This is a world that most of the world is not familiar with. It is the real world of blood and guts ans pasiion and love and traing and and fun and bonding.
Such an exciting race, so emotioanl Love and hugs to all hwho particripated.
diana Miller

ScrapSis said...

I can only echo the sentiments of others - lots of dittos. SP kennel is a wonderful team of mushers, dogs and support team. So very happy that you both made it safely to Nome, in one piece!! Get some rest and renewal, heal well and enjoy life. Go Dawgs, Go.

llp7 said...

RIGHT ON ALIY!!! No female "sissys" in THAT race! No way no how!!!

Good for you girl! Great leadership!

Leanna said...

It's an honor to be able to support, in a small way, the SP Kennel family. You all rock!

marilyn cozzens said...

Congrats to Aliy & Allen and all the mushers that finished such a gruelling & challenging race. And all the canine athletes are due a well deserved hug & belly rub. What great stories from the trail. Thanks.

Gwynn-Deirdre Morgan said...

The teamwork, comradeship and care of the mushers for their dogs and willingness to help rookies and each other is so awesome and wonderful. That is what the Iditarod is all about, at least in my opinion.
Congrats to Aliy for a fantastic race and to Allen for bringing along the dogs of the future. One of these days I hope I can be in Nome to watch y'all come in!! There in spirit anyway.

Anonymous said...

Wow slot I do amazing way to go!!!!!!!(: