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Nome, Alaska – 13 March 2019
1. Various of Iditarod winner Pete Kaiser crossing finish line
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Pete Kaiser, Iditarod winner:
"It just feels like a lot of hard work and it's been justified. I don't really know all the feelings yet. It's probably going to sink in over the next few days, few weeks but it sure feels good and it's an awesome feeling to see all these people here. That's the real special part."
2. Iditarod winner Pete Kaiser hugging people in crowd
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Pete Kaiser, Iditarod winner:
"To see this huge crowd here and so many family and friends from back home, it's really neat."
4. Iditarod winner Pete Kaiser being presented with check
5. Iditarod winner Pete Kaiser sitting with his dogs
Pete Kaiser won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race early Wednesday, throwing his arms over his head and pumping his fists as he became the latest Alaska Native to claim victory in the iconic competition.
Kaiser, 31, crossed the finish line in Nome after beating back a challenge from the defending champion, Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom.
Kaiser's winning time was 9 days, 12 hours, 39 minutes and six seconds. Ulsom finished the 1,000-mile (1,600 kilometer) race 12 minutes after Kaiser.
It's the first Iditarod victory for Kaiser in his 10th attempt.
"It just feels like a lot of hard work and it's been justified," Kaiser said at the finish line in Nome. "I don't really know all the feelings yet. It's probably going to sink in over the next few days, few weeks but it sure feels good and it's an awesome feeling to see all these people here. That's the real special part."
Crowds cheered and clapped as Kaiser came off the Bering Sea ice and mushed down Nome's main street to the famed burled arch finish line. His wife and children greeted him, hugging him at the conclusion of the race, which began March 3 north of Anchorage.
Kaiser, who is Yupik, is from the southwest Alaska community of Bethel.
He will receive $50,000 and a new pickup truck for the victory.
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