Two rookie mushers finished in the top 10 this year, and both had small teams.
Aaron Burmeister left the Dawson with nine dogs, and Mike Jayne left with eight.
Burmeister hoped to take on the frontrunners, but after dropping a number of dogs he was knew it would be hard to catch up.
The Iditarod veteran, who came in fifth, also turned around outside Pelly Crossing to drop a sick dog and lost several hours.
Jayne, who struggled with emotional ups and downs for much of the race, wasn’t overly happy with his eighth-place finish.
“It’s alright,” he said.
“I’m more happy that I finished with the same eight dogs I had for 700 miles.”
Burmeister was named Rookie of the Year.