Norwegian Joar Ulsom wins the 46th Iditarod in Alaska

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Joar Ulsom at the Rainy Pass checkpoint early in the 2018 Iditarod. (Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media photo)
For the first time in seven years, someone with a last name other than Seavey has won the Iditarod.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom crossed under Nome’s burled arch at 3:01am with eight dogs.

Ulsom was in a tight three-way race with veteran champion Mitch Seavey and Nicolas Petit  for days. On Monday morning, Petit deviated from the trail during a ground-storm on the run from Shaktoolik to Koyuk, giving Ulsom a window to overtake him at the front of the pack.

The 31-year-old Norwegian from Mo i Rana has lived and raced in Alaska since 2011. In his five previous Iditarods, Ulsom never placed lower than seventh.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom of Norway celebrates winning the 2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Nils Hahn/The Nome Nugget/Reuters)

At a run time of nine days and 13 hours, this was one of the longer Iditarods in recent years. The last time a leader took more than 9 days to reach Nome was 2013 along the same southern route. Since 2012, Mitch Seavey and his son Dallas have traded off victories. The last time a foreign-born musher won the race it was Robert Sorlie, of Hurdal, Norway, in 2005.

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Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media

Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media

For more news from Alaska visit Alaska Public Media.

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