Iditarod XLV wraps up with awards banquet in Nome

Iditarod XLV wraps up with awards banquet in Nome

Dogs in the Iditarod are forced to run almost 1,000 miles-roughly the distance from Orlando, Florida, to New York City-in under two weeks.

When the race began in the 1970s, it took mushers more than twice as long to finish-with winners covering the course in up to 20 days-but improved training and breeding have slashed the winning times.

The 54-year-old who lives in both Alaska and Bloomingdale was the 63rd finisher to reach the "Burled Arch" in Nome, Alaska.

The race started in Fairbanks on March 6, and mushers and their dogs endured temperatures below negative 30 degrees for the opening several days and nights of the race.

Following the deaths of five dogs in less than a week in this year's Iditarod, members of PETA will hold a candlelight vigil as they call for an end to the deadly race.

On Tuesday, veteran Alaskan Mitch Seavey set two records in the 45th Iditarod when he became this year's first racer to reach Nome.

This year's top dog also known as the Golden Harness victor went to Mitch Seavey's lead dog Pilot after record breaking eight days, three hours, 40 minutes and 13 second finish.

"We're really excited Mitch could win the race, let alone be the oldest musher ever to win the Iditarod, and then set the course record for fastest time ever", Dr. Hunt of Bayshore Vet Hospital said.

Reuter, who has completed numerous 200- and 300-mile sled dog races in Alaska and the Yukon, hopes to finish in about 11 days.