Alaska's first dude got a hug from wife Sarah, who greeted the top racers

By Lorenzo Benet
February 14, 2009 10:00 PM
Sam Harrel/AP

Alaska’s first dude Todd Palin completed the 1,971-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race Saturday, crossing the finish line in 6th place and receiving a consolation hug from his wife, Gov. Sarah Palin, who greeted the top racers at the finish line.

Palin, 44, completed the course in 41 hours and 14 minutes with race partner Scott Davis.

Riding Artic Cat snowmobiles, they finished nearly four hours behind the winners, Todd Minnick and Nick Olstad, Wasilla, Alaska, natives who completed the 26th annual Iron Dog in 37 hrs., 19 min., and collected the $25,000 1st place prize.

They also broke the old course record of 38:17 set by Palin and Davis in 2007. Combined, Plain and Davis have 11 Iron Dog victories between them, four by Palin and seven by Davis. They last won as a team in 2007.

Battling fresh snow, sub-zero temperatures and blizzards, racers began in Big Lake, north of Wasilla, rode northwest across the interior to Nome, where the racers reversed course and traveled east back across frozen tundra to finish the world’s longest snowmobile race in downtown Fairbanks.

The races stretches out over week, allowing riders to make three rest stops along the way.

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