Iditarod Though the Decades 1980s

The Iditarod Though the Decades: 1980s

A limited series about the Iditarod Through the Decades, hosted by Alex Stein. In this episode: 1980s


The conversation explores the Iditarod race in the 1980s, a decade marked by optimism, the rise of the yuppies, and the growth of the race. It also highlights the dominance of Rick Swenson, the emergence of women in the race, and the historic victory of Libby Riddles as the first female winner. Susan Butcher’s dominance and the financial challenges faced by the race are also discussed.


  • The 1980s brought a sense of optimism and growth to the Iditarod race, fueled by the oil boom in Alaska and the rise of the yuppies.
  • Rick Swenson, known as the King of Iditarod, dominated the race in the 1980s and brought an element of surprise and mystique by traveling at night without a headlamp.
  • The 1980s saw the emergence of women in the Iditarod, with Susan Butcher and Libby Riddles becoming prominent figures and inspiring young girls and women.
  • Financial challenges and the fall of the Soviet Union had an impact on the race, but the Iditarod continued to evolve and capture the public’s imagination.


00:00: The Optimism of the 1980s
01:50: The Rise of the Yuppies
02:19: The Growth of the Iditarod
03:11: Rick Swenson: The King of Iditarod
06:55: Women Dominating the Iditarod
10:37: Libby Riddles: The First Female Winner
17:05: Susan Butcher’s Dominance
18:21: Financial Challenges and the Fall of the Soviet Union

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