030616-ir-nws-iditarod-royer (IR copy)

Montana product Jessie Royer finished third Wednesday morning in the Iditarod, her best finish in 16 tries at the event.

WHITE MOUNTAIN, Alaska — Longtime Montana resident Jessie Royer achieved a personal milestone Wednesday by finishing third in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Royer and her team of 11 huskies arrived under the burled arch in Nome, Alaska, at 9:34 a.m. some five hours and 55 minutes behind winner Peter Kaiser of Bethel, Alaska. Kaiser finished 12 minutes ahead of runner-up Joar Lefseth Ulsom of Norway, the defending champion.

Royer, 42, who was raised on a ranch outside of Ennis and has also lived in several other small Montana towns, completed the 998-mile race from Anchorage to Nome in 9 days, 18 hours, 34 minutes and 5 seconds. Her previous best finish was fourth in 2015 and she finished fifth in 2017.

Royer has finished in the top 10 seven times and owns the second-fastest time ever accomplished by a woman at the Iditarod.

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