After competing for over nine days, Thomas Wærner and his team were the first ones to cross the finish line in Nome at the legendary Iditarod race 2020. Lead dogs K2 and Bark lead the team through most of the 1560 kilometer long trail. Except for them, the 14-member team consisted of Bibbi, King, Kahiv, Kroll, Bew, Mercedes, Thllus, Radius, Pav, Sackie, Delta and Luke.
- My team has been awesome the whole way. It’s been incredible to drive them. Even if you’re doing long 10-hour runs and you stop, they are screaming to go and popping the hook, it’s an amazing dog team. I’ve never had so many good dogs as I have now, you’re just proud when you’re standing on the runners, Thomas says to Qrill Pet Mushing Team.
Thomas is clear that the true heroes in this sport are his dogs. He puts great effort into the training, care and health of his dog team, with a strong understanding of their needs. Their unique relationship that cannot be described in words. His achievements show that his continues efforts towards the four-legged athletes pay off in the end.
Early on in the race, Thomas went out strong and held on to a position within the top 10. The last two days he was, however, dominating the race.
- This is a dream come true! I started to dream about this when I was 11 years old, and have been working towards this goal throughout my entire dog mushing career, Thomas said at the finish line.
He first ran the Iditarod in 2015 and finished in 17th place, which earned him Rookie of the Year. Ever since then he wanted to go back and prove himself and this year, he definitely did.
Thomas is a part of QRILL Pet Mushing Team, the world’s first professional long distance sled dog team. Team members are Thomas Wærner, Marit Beate Kasin, Joar Ulsom, Hanna Lyrek and Dallas Seavey. The team will compete in the big mushing events around the world. The strategy is to optimize dogs' health and endurance while promoting the sport of dog mushing.
With strategic industry partners such as QRILL Pet, Appetitt and Non-stop dogwear the team is set up for success.
Thomas is the first musher to ever win the Femund Race and Finnmark Race in the same year and become the Iditarod Champion the following season. This makes him and his dogs truly unique in the sport of long distance dog mushing.
He is the fourth non-American and the third Norwegian to win the world's largest dog race, after Robert Sørlie and team member Joar Leifseth Ulsom. He is also the first overall winner of the Qrill Pet Arctic World Series, a concept that has followed some of the greatest long distance dog mushing races around the world.