Northland Teen & Jr. Iditarod Winner Gets A Big Welcome Home
Martens walked away with a $6,000 scholarship and a new dog sled for winning the race.
SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Northland teenager who won the Junior Iditarod returned from Alaska on Tuesday and a group of local community members gave him a big welcome home.
Finishing first in the Junior Iditarod is no easy task, but 14-year-old Morgan Martens from Brule brought home the trophy.
Martens returned to the Northland to a crowd of supporters cheering him on after finishing his 150-mile trek across Alaska.
All the community support gave the young winner another reason to smile.
“It’s cool to know that all these friends and family and people who support me,” said Martens.
Proudly holding his winning plaque, Martens says crossing the finish line first felt like a dream
“I didn’t believe it at first. It didn’t seem real,” he said. “It’s kind of a weird feeling because I’m not used to winning long-distance races.”
The longest race Martens ever completed before this was about forty miles.
After winning the Junior Iditarod, his big sister, who also competed in that same race back in 2018, couldn’t have been prouder.
“I was pretty darn excited for him. Like he said we are more of a go-out there and have fun type of personality. We normally don’t go for the top, so when he came across the finish line in first, I was a pretty proud sister,” said Talia Martens.
Winning such a big race also came with an unexpected scare.
“There was a 5.3 earthquake at the very start of the race. We heard the ice crack and we felt it a little bit,” said Martens.
Even with all the challenges involved, Martens still encourages other young people to compete in the race.
“If you can get your dogs trained and ready for it, you should definitely do it,” he said.
Not only did Morgan Martens win first place, but he also won rookie of the year.
He even walked away with a $6,000 scholarship and a new dog sled for winning the race.
The dog sled video is courtesy of Beth Dahlberg, a dog handler from Solon Springs.