Minnesota Native Wins The 50th Iditarod Race Across Alaska
Minnesota native Brent Sass captured his first win in the Iditarod race across Alaska early Tuesday morning.
Sass, who grew up in Minnesota before moving to Alaska 20+ years ago crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska just after 5:30 a.m.
Sass finished about 70 minutes ahead of defending champion Dallas Seavey. Seavey was attempting to become the first musher to win the Iditarod six times.
Sass, who was born in Excelsior, Minnesota, lives in Eureka, Alaska. He is a six-time finisher in the race with finishes of 13th (2012), 22nd (2013), 20th (2016), 4th (2020), 3rd (2021), and now champion.
This year, the race started in Anchorage and ran 975 miles across Alaska before finishing in Nome.
According to a news release, Sass had 11 dogs in harness when he crossed the finish line to win the Iditarod 50 title in 8 days, 14 hours, 38 minutes, and 43 seconds. His teammates include Slater, Pink, Garnet, Marble, Morello, Lucy, Woody, Tock, Capone, Pop, Arlo, Kutuk, Jackson, and Draco.
The Minnesota native has had a very accomplished mushing career. He is a three-time Yukon Quest champion and is also a previous winner of the Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award. This award is voted on by the checkers in the checkpoints as the musher who best epitomizes the spirit of sportsmanship and humanitarianism while competing in the Iditarod.
“Brent Sass is not only a bold, tenacious, and super tough front-runner but also a keen
strategist. In addition, the dedication, emotional connectivity, and love for his team is readily apparent as it really felt like his dogs also had abstract thoughts of pride and joy as they crossed the finish line,” Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach said. “After finishing near the top of the pack the last two years, Brent will remember this moment as the moment of his highest power. We congratulate Brent and his team of fearless canine athletes on winning the 50th running of the Iditarod and look forward to seeing him grow along with our race as we enter our next 50 years."
The Sass family has connections to Southeast Minnesota. His father, Mark, is a graduate of Stewartville High School. His grandfather, Lyle, owned and operated Lyle Sass Implement Co. in Stewartville from 1952 until 1970, according to the Stewartville Area Historical Society.
You can learn more about Brent Sass' mushing career on Wild and Free Mushing Facebook page, or his website here.
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