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March 15, 2011
Musher John Baker wins 2011 Iditarod
NOME, Alaska (AP) -- John Baker's win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was more than just one man finally achieving his lifelong dream. It was also a victory for Alaska Natives. Hundreds of fans and traditional Eskimo drummers greeted the 48-year-old Eskimo musher as he crossed the finish line Tuesday morning in the world's longest sled dog race. The Kotzebue musher is the first Alaska Native musher to win the Iditarod since Jerry Riley did it in 1976, and he is the first Eskimo to win since the 1,150-mile Anchorage to Nome race began in 1973. Baker shattered the race record, coming in three hours earlier than four-time champion Martin Buser did when he set the previous record in 2002. Baker completed this year's race in eight days, 19 hours and 46 minutes. (36 images)

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John Baker, from Kotzebue, Alaska, leaves the the village of Golovin during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 14, 2011. Baker won the race. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News


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Ellen Halverson drives her dog team during the restart of the Iditarod in Willow, Alaska, on Sunday, March 6, 2011. Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News



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Mushing fans line the trail across Willow Lake during the Iditarod Restart in Willow, Alaska on Sunday, Mar. 6, 2011. Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News



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Anna Berington, left, reaches to her twin sister Kristy Berington during the Iditarod Restart in Willow, Alaska on Sunday, Mar. 6, 2011. Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News



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A musher cruises past wind carved snow through the spruce forest as their dog team heads towards the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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A musher winds through the spruce forest as their dog team heads towards the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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A pair of teams approach the summit of Rainy Pass as they cross the Alaska Range during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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DeeDee Jonrowe mushes across Puntilla Lake as she comes into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Matt Hayashida, from Willow, Alaska, works with his team after arriving at the Rainy Pass check point on Monday, March 7, 2011 just as the sun goes behind a mountain. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Walker ,one of the the wheel dogs on the team of Mike Williams Jr., eyes his meal as Williams feeds his team in the 40-plus degree sunshine on Puntilla Lake at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Musher Sven Haltmann from Fairbanks, Alaska visits with sled dogs Discus and Molson at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod sled dog race on Monday, March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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A musher crosses the taiga forest between the Skwentna and Finger Lake checkpoints in Alaska during the Iditarod sled dog race on Monday March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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A sled dog blows steam after arriving at the Rainy Pass, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday March 7, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Musher Lance Mackey checks on his sled dogs at the Nikolai, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Daffy, a team dog of Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit from Girdwood, Alaska sleeps at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday afternoon, March 8, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Peter Kaiser's leaders Sweeper and Frosty are ready to hit the trail as the musher arranges his dog team before leaving the Nikola, Alaska,i checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, afternoon March 8, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Robert Bundtzen, of Anchorage, Alaska, leaves the Nikolai, Alaska checkpoint as Paul Gebhardt's dogs sleep in the sun during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Gebhardt scratched in Nikolai. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Cim Smyth from Big Lake, Alaska, comes into the Nikolai, Alaska, checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Peter Kaiser, from Bethel, Alaska, leaves the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, afternoon March 8, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Ed Stielstra's dogs rest at Takotna as the northern lights dance across the sky over the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday night March 9, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher DeeDee Jonrowe from Willow, AK feeds her sled dogs at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, afternoon March 9, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Willow, AK Iditarod musher Karin Hendrickson's swing dog Aberdeen and leader Chase keep an eye on things at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, afternoon March 9, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Hans Gatt from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory washes out his dog food trays next to the hot water barrel at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, afternoon March 9, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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An Iditarod musher's team moves along the trail to the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday afternoon March 9, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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An Iditarod musher's team moves on the way into the McGrath, Alaska checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday afternoon March 9, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher John Baker, from Kotzebue, AK drives his team along the Yukon River after leaving the Anvik checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Friday, March 11, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Lance Mackey, from Fairbanks, AK, mushes down the Yukon River after leaving the Anvik, Alaska, checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Friday, March 11, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Robert Bundtzen, of Anchorage, mushes along the Yukon River after leaving the Anvik checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Friday, March 11, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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A Iditarod musher heads up the Yukon River towards the Kaltag checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March, 12, 2011, in Kaltag, Alaska. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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One of Iditarod musher John Baker's dog at the Kaltag checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March, 12, 2011, in Kaltag, Alaska. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Three Iditarod mushers head up the Yukon River towards the Kaltag checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March, 12, 2011, in Kaltag, Alaska. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, AK arrives at the Kaltag checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March, 12, 2011, in Kaltag, Alaska. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Robert Bundtzen, from Anchorage, Alaska, crosses from Kaltag to the Unalakleet checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Sunday morning, March 13, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Musher John Baker from Kotzebue, Alaska pulls out of the the Unalakleet checkpoint in first place during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday, March 13, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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Iditarod musher Lance Mackey, from Fairbanks, Alaska, crosses from Kaltag to the Unalakleet checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Sunday morning, March 13, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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John Baker wins the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska, Tuesday morning on March 15, 2011. Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News



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