Thomas Wærner and his dog team win the legendary Iditarod race 2020. After competing for over 9 days with 57 professional dog teams and the unpredictable nature of Alaska, the orange team was the first to cross the finish line in Nome. Winning both, the Finnmark Race and Femund Race last year, Thomas is now also officially holding the title of Iditarod champion.
Thomas Wærner (47) and his 10 dogs crossed the finish line first in Nome, Alaska today, far ahead of their competition. QRILL Pet Mushing Team member, Thomas is the first musher to ever win the Femund Race and Finnmark Race in the same year and become the Iditarod Champion the following season. This makes him and his dogs truly unique in the sport of long distance dog mushing and not the least, one of the world's best dog mushing team.
He is the fourth non-American and the third Norwegian to win the world's largest dog race, after Robert Sorlie and team member Joar Leifseth Ulsom. He is also the first overall winner of the QRILL Pet Arctic World Series, a concept that has followed some of the greatest long distance dog mushing races around the world.
"This is a dream come true! I have started to dream about this when I was 11 years old and have been working towards this goal throughout my entire dog mushing career", said newly crowned Iditarod champion Thomas at the finish line.
He first ran the Iditarod in 2015, and finished in 17th place, which earned him Rookie of the Year. Ever since then he wanted to go back and prove himself and this year, he definitely did.
Early on in the race, Thomas went out strong and held on to a position within the top 10. The last two days he was however dominating the race. Lead dogs, K2 and Bark were the lucky ones who lead the team through most of the Iditarod race and also the finish line in Nome.
"My team has been awesome the whole way. It’s been incredible to drive them. Even if you’re doing long 10 hour runs and you stop, they are screaming to go and popping the hook, it’s an amazing dog team. I’ve never had so many good dogs like I have now, you’re just proud when you’re standing on the runners," said proud Thomas.
The Iditarod is 1560 kilometers long and started on March 8 in Willow with 57 dog teams. Eleven of them had to scratch.
Some highlights of the team from the Iditarod 2020 race.
Thomas understands that the true heroes in this sport are his dogs. He puts great effort into training, care and health of his dog team, with a strong understanding of their needs and a unique relationship that cannot be described in words. His achievements show that his continuous efforts towards the four-legged athletes pay off in the end.
About the QRILL Pet Mushing Team
QRILL Pet Mushing Team is the world’s first professional long distance sled dog team. Team members are Thomas Wærner, Marit Beate Kasin, Joar Ulsom, Hanna Lyrek and Dallas Seavey. The team will compete in the big mushing events around the world. The strategy is to optimize dogs health and endurance, while promoting the sport of dog mushing. With strategic industry partners such as QRILL Pet, Appetitt and Non-Stop the team is setup for success.
About the QRILL Pet Arctic World Series
QRILL PAWS will highlight the sport of long-distance dog mushing. The aim is to help the sport and the mushing community to grow and to strengthen the separate race organizations, as well as showcase the world-class dog care that the sport is famous for.
The series is based on an advanced digital visualization of GPS tracking, joint point system, as well as television production and distribution. QRILL PAWS was established as a non-profit sports series through an initiative by Aker BioMarine. All proceeds go back to the events and as investments in the sport of long-distance dog mushing.
For more information: www.qpaws.com