NOME, Alaska – Montana’s Jessie Royer finished third in the 2020 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race across Alaska. It was her eighth top-10 finish in her 18th Iditarod and matches the highest finish in her career, which she set last year.
Royer finished just more than seven hours behind winner Thomas Waerner of Norway and 90 minutes behind second-place finisher and three-time Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey in the nearly 1,000-mile race. She crossed the finish line on the streets of downtown Nome at 7:47 a.m. in a time of 9 days, 17 hours, 47 minutes and 16 seconds.
The race started March 8 north of Anchorage and was one of the few sporting events in the U.S. that wasn’t canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
Of the 57 mushers who started the race on March 8 north of Anchorage, 13 finished on Wednesday, 29 remained on the course, and 15 dropped out.
Royer, an Ennis native who currently lives and trains dogs at the Triple Creek Guest Ranch in Darby, is also a five-time winner of the Montana Race To The Sky 300-mile sled dog race. She most recently claimed the title in February.