The American Ryan Redington has won the world-famous Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska. On Tuesday, the man, who was born in Alaska, won the race for the first time, which his grandfather had co-founded a good 50 years ago. According to the organizers, Redington covered the distance of more than 1000 kilometers in 8 days, 21 hours, 12 minutes and 58 seconds.
"It means everything to bring this trophy home. Even as a young kid, my goal was to win Iditarod and I can't believe it," Redington was quoted as saying by the Anchorage Daily News. After crossing the finish line in Nome, he had first fed his dogs and hugged friends, family and other dog sled guides.
More than 30 women and men competed in this year's 51st edition. Brent Sass was the defending champion. The competition is considered the toughest dog sled race in the world. The Iditarod leads through the Alaskan wilderness, often during snowstorms and extreme sub-zero temperatures.
The competition was launched in 1973 and takes its name from a river and a now-abandoned place in western Alaska. The race is reminiscent of a dog sled expedition in 1925 that brought vaccine to Nome to combat a diphtheria outbreak. The Iditarod Trail was also used to transport goods and mail in the 20th century.