Brent Sass and the Wild and Free Team left Anchorage, Alaska Saturday morning at 11:06 AM for the ceremonial start of the 2016 Iditarod. Wearing bib #32, they left Willow, Alaska on Sunday morning at 3:00 PM to officially start the race.
Throughout the race, Brent was able to stay up front and contend for the lead. Brent chose to camp outside of the checkpoints for most of the race, and the warmer weather this year helped with that strategy. He was able to arrive first to many checkpoints, two of which earned him trail awards. The “Loafer from Ophir Award” for being the first to Ophir as well as the Wells Fargo Bank Gold Coast Award for being the first musher to Unalakleet. As he passed through the Shaktoolik checkpoint, he stopped to load up on supplies for another overnight camp while veterinarians checked on the team and commented on how great they looked. When Brent reached the White Mountain checkpoint at 11:40 AM Monday morning, he was in third place, just behind the front runners.
After regrouping in White Mountain for some extra rest beyond the mandatory 8 hours, Brent and the team headed out toward the Safety checkpoint and on to Nome. He and the team crossed the finish line in 20th place at 11:08 PM with 9 happy and excited dogs. “They poured their hearts out for 1,000 miles, and obviously we had our problems 75 miles from the finish line, but this run here just proves to me that our trust is still there,” he said. “They still believe in me.”
Thanks to all the Wild and Free Mushing supporters and fans for the ongoing positive energy and encouragement. It was a great race season and the team is looking forward to getting ready for next year. Attitude is Everything!