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Gunnar Johnson at the Iditarod finish line in 2017 with his lead dogs Delta and Queen, along with the dogs
Gunnar Johnson at the Iditarod finish line in 2017 with his lead dogs Delta and Queen, along with the dogs' owner, Jim Lanier, in Alaska. Jeff Schultz / SchultzPhoto.com - Fargo, ND
Iditarod musher with Fargo ties to carry list of lives lost to suicide

Gunnar Johnson was about 12 years old in 1979 when he was wowed by a slideshow on the Iditarod sled dog race.

The images were put together by Jim Lanier, a friend of Johnson's parents, Stella and the late Ken Johnson, all three of whom attended North Dakota State University together.

Johnson never forgot that slideshow, and in 1991 when he was in his early 20s he participated in his first Iditarod.

He would say later the race provided some of the best and worst moments of his life, and in 2017 he embarked on his second Iditarod.

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