Baker Wins Iditarod - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Iditarod 2011

Baker Wins Iditarod

NOME, Alaska - John Baker has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Baker - a 48-year-old musher from Kotzebue - was the first racer to complete the 1,150-mile race from Anchorage to Nome on Tuesday. He is the first Alaska Native musher to win the world's longest sled dog race since Jerry Riley did it in 1976.

Baker began mushing in 1995 and ran his first Iditarod in 1996. His best finish before this year's victory was third place in 2002 and 2009.

Baker was challenged toward the end by Ramey Smyth of Willow. The 35-year-old musher, who finished sixth last year - one spot behind Baker - closed the gap to less than one hour but could not catch Baker down the stretch to Nome.

Sixty-two teams began the Iditarod on March 6.  

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)