Eagle River’s Chris Olds wins fourth Iron Dog title

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 10:43
  • Eagle River’s Chris Olds, right, celebrates as he and teammate Mike Morgan, of Anchorage, approach the finish line of the Iron Dog snowmachine race at Pikes Landing on Saturday. The pair won overall for the second straight year in the 2,000-mile race from Deshka Landing to Nome to Fairbanks. (DANNY MARTIN/ FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER)

Last to start, first to finish.

The team of Mike Morgan and Chris Olds won the Iron Dog on Saturday morning, becoming the race’s first back-to-back winners since 2013.

Morgan and Olds arrived at the Fairbanks finish line at 10:49 a.m. aboard their Polaris Indy XC 600 snowmachines.

They completed the 1,977-mile race from Deshka Landing to Nome to Fairbanks in 34 hours, 27 minutes, 31 seconds.

About 20 minutes later the Wasilla team of veteran Brad George and rookie Adam Drinkhouse finished in second place.

Morgan and Olds were the last to leave the start line last Sunday at Deshka Landing, where two-person teams started in two-minute intervals.

By the time they reached the halfway point in Nome – Morgan’s hometown – they were in command.

It was the fourth Iron Dog victory for Olds, a 47-year-old Eagle River construction project manager. It was the second for Morgan, 33, who lives in Anchorage and works as a construction welder.

Twenty-four teams started the race. As of 4 p.m. Saturday, 12 teams had finished, 11 had scratched and one was still en route to Fairbanks.

The last back-to-back winners of the Iron Dog to win consecutive Iron Dogs were Marc McKenna and Dusty VanMeter.

The only other Eagle River rider in the race, Tyson Johnson, scratched after leaving the White Mountain checkpoint on Thursday.

2019 Iron Dog

1) Morgan/Olds 34:27:31; 2) Drinkhouse/George 34:48:50; 3) Boylan/Leslie 35:03:35; 4) Lapham/Weisz 35:58:12; 5) Cruise/Miller 37:07:54; 6) Kleewein/Kleewein 38:28:54; 7) Gumley/VanWingerden 39:44:25; 8) Conner/Elder 40:01:48; 9) Boney/Unruh 43:07:31; 10) Mountain/Sommer 48:42:37; 11) Levine/Levine 52:16:29; 12) Barber/Barber 41:07:45; 13) Miebs/Thibault 38:57:51. Still on trail at 4 p.m. Saturday — Krause/Lilley.

Scratched — Faeo/Schachle; Aklestad/Johnson; Anselment/Baumgartner; Carlon/Masson; Huss/Selby; Oliver/Vaughn; Minnick/Olstad; Nikolai/Reader; Conlon/Menne; Berg/Chvastasz

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