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WINNER — Thomas Waerner, of Norway, arrives in Nome, Alaska, on Wednesday to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Marc Lester
WINNER — Thomas Waerner, of Norway, arrives in Nome, Alaska, on Wednesday to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Marc Lester - Anchorage, Alaska
Norwegian musher wins Iditarod race

As a young boy growing up in Norway, Thomas Waerner spent idle hours thinking long and hard about two different kinds of iconic American modes of transportation: muscle cars and the sled dogs in the Iditarod.

Waerner, 47, made one of those dreams reality on Wednesday, winning the nearly 1,000-mile (1,609-kilometer) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race across Alaska. He took a commanding lead in the late stages of the race and held a five-hour advantage over the next closest musher, three-time champion Mitch Seavey.

“This is awesome,” Waerner said after winning the race. “This is something special.”

Waerner took his dog team over mountain ranges, on the frozen Yukon River and across treacherous Bering Sea ice to the finish line on Nome’s main street in 9 days, 10 hours, 37 minutes and 47 seconds.

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