After years of hard work, Ulsom arrived under the burled arch in 9 days and 12 hours with eight dogs. "Awesome, fantastic, unreal," he said to a Channel 2 crew about winning.
The new truck that comes with a first-place finish for Iditarod couldn't come soon enough for Ulsom. Both tires and his rear axel fell off his truck while driving on a highway before the race start and three tow trucks were needed to bring it to a mechanic.For the estimated $50,000 in prize money, Ulsom said all of it would be going back to the dogs.
Nicolas Petit came in second to Nome and three-time Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey is set to come third. Congratulations and messages of support came in for Ulsom from across the mushing world, including from four-time Iditarod champions Dallas Seavey and Jeff King. Seavey’s Facebook page lit up with the hashtag #roarforjoar while King told a Channel 2 crew in Unalakleet that he was “rooting for Joar.” "[He] has shown an air of caution that is serving him well,” said King.
2018 is the first time a member of the Seavey family has not won Iditarod since John Baker took first in 2011. King said he was "ready for a new champion, as much as I love the Seavey dynasty."
Ulsom, 31, is also the second musher from Norway to come first under the burled arch after Robert Sørlie pulled off victories in 2003 and 2005.
His victory is the first for his kennel Team Beringia and adds to his enviable record at the Last Great Race: He has started six times, finished six times and always placed seventh or higher. His first race in 2013 saw him place fourth, finish as the fastest rookie in the race’s history and win the coveted rookie of the year award.