NOME, Alaska – Ohio native Matt Failor and his team of 11 dogs completed the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race about noon Toledo time on Wednesday, finishing 15th in a field of about 70 mushers and teams.
Failor took nine days, 16 hours, 42 minutes and 30 seconds to traverse the 975-mile course, which covers some of the most rugged wilderness in North America. The last 250 miles took the race teams along the Bering Sea and across long stretches of ice.
Failor is a 2007 Ohio State University graduate who was making his third run in the historic race. He finished 47th as a rookie, and then was 28th last year. Failor spent some of his college summers working at the Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau, then moved to Alaska after graduating from OSU. He currently lives in a small cabin on a half-acre plot in Willow, where he cares for his 20 sled dogs.
He has a strong connection to the Toledo area, since his mother graduated from Notre Dame Academy and his dad graduated from Rossford High School. His parents were waiting for him as he cleared the chute and completed the race.