Ed Hopkins, seen here in Dawson City during the 2019 Yukon Quest, was the top rookie and top Canadian in the 2019 Iditarod Trail sled dog race. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)

Yukoner Ed Hopkins wins 2019 Iditarod rookie of the year

Hopkins was the top Canadian musher in the field, finishing 21st

The 2019 Iditarod Trail sled dog race concluded on March 18 when rookie musher Victoria Hardwick crossed the finish line in 39th place to win the Red Lantern Award.

Hardwick, from Bethel, Aalska, finished the race at 1:51 p.m. local time for a total race time of 14 days, 22 hours, 51 minutes and 49 seconds to cover the nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres) from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nome, Alaska.

More than five days earlier, Peter Kaiser won the race when he crossed the finish line at 3:39 a.m. on March 13. Kaiser had a total time of nine days, 12 hours, 39 minutes and six seconds, and is the first musher of Yup’ik descent to win the race in its 47-year history. For winning the race, Kaiser won $51,299 USD in prize money.

Rookie musher Ed Hopkins of 10 Mile was the top Canadian in the field, finishing 21st with a total race time of 11 days, eight hours, seven minutes and 34 seconds and a team of 10 dogs. For his efforts, Hopkins won the Rookie of the Year Award as the top-placing rookie. The award includes a cheque for $2,000 USD and a commemorative trophy. Although new to the Iditarod, Hopkins is a nine-time Yukon Quest finisher.

Close behind Hopkins was Aaron Peck from Grand Prairie, Alta., in 23rd position. Peck had a total race time of 11 days, 11 hours, 10 minutes and five seconds.

Rounding out the Canadian finishers was Jason Campeau from Rocky Mountain House, Alta., who finished 30th. Campeau had a total race time of 12 days, six hours, 49 minutes and 24 seconds.

Whitehorse’s Marcelle Fressineau started the race but scratched on March 9 at the Iditarod checkpoint. A press release from the Iditarod said Fressineau scratched due to the welfare of her team.

A total of 52 mushers started the race, with 39 reaching the finish and 13 scratching during the race.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

2019 Iditarod finish order

1 Peter Kaiser

2 Joar Leifseth Ulsom

3 Jessie Royer

4 Aliy Zirkle

5 Travis Beals

6 Matt Hall

7 Paige Drobny

8 Ramey Smyth

9 Mitch Seavey

10 Aaron Burmeister

11 Richie Diehl

12 Linwood Fiedler

13 Jeff King

14 Wade Marrs

15 Jeff Deeter

16 Kristy Berington

17 Anna Berington

18 Matthew Failor

19 Seth Barnes

20 Mats Pettersson

21 Ed Hopkins

22 Martin Buser

23 Aaron Peck

24 Charley Bejna

25 Michi Konno

26 Lance Mackey

27 Jessie Holmes

28 Martin Apayauq Reitan

29 Ryan Santiago

30 Jason Campeau

31 Jessica Klejka

32 Alison Lifka

33 Michael Baker

34 Sarah Stokey

35 Anja Radano

36 Blair Braverman

37 Jeremy Keller

38 Kristin Bacon

39 Victoria Hardwick

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