After traversing icy waterways and snow covered trails in a race across the arctic tundra, mushers are finally relaxing, and getting recognized for their Iditarod feats.
Every year following the end of the Last Great Race, mushers gather with sponsors and race officials, family and friends, and look back on the incredible journey they've completed.
While race winner Dallas Seavey will enjoy (again) the title of champion, other mushers, volunteers, and even a checkpoint will be recognized with various awards, decided by vote or by feat of speed or strength on the trail.
Among the prestigious honors are the sportsmanship award, voted for by fellow mushers; the Golden Clipboard award, given to the checkpiont that helped out the most; the AlaskaAir Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian award, for whom veterans of the race vote; and the Horizon Lines "Most Improved" award.
The winners announced at this year's banquet are as follows:
Bristol Bay Native Corporation "First Fish" Award: Aliy Zirkle
Millennium Alaskan Hotel First Musher to the Yukon (Ruby) Award: Jeff King
GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award: Aaron Burmeister
PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award: Sonny Lindner
Wells Fargo Gold Coast Award: Aliy Zirkle
Jerry Austin Rookie of the Year Award: Nathan Schroeder
Horizon Lines Most Improved Musher Award: Richie Diehl
Sportsmanship Award: Mike Williams, Jr.
ExxonMobile Musher's Choice Award: Aaron Burmeister
Northern Air Cargo Herbie Nayokpuk Memorial Award: Newton Marshal
Gold Clipboard Award: Galena
AlaskaAir Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award: Martin Buser
Golden Harness Award: Beetle, owner Dallas Seavey
Wells Fargo Red Lantern Award: Marcelle Fressineau