Musher Profile: Nicolas Petit – Ready to Win
Updated January 16,2021
Name: Nicolas Petit
Birth Date: December 12, 1979
Birth Place: Normandy, France
Residence: Girdwood, Alaska
By The Numbers
Number of Iditarod Finishes: 7
Best Finish: 2nd (2018)
Best Time: 8 d 6 h 29 m 13 s (2017)
Total Iditarod Earnings: $204,224.00
Impressive Statistic: 2011 Rookie of the Year
Nicolas Petit grew up in Normandy, France and moved to New Mexico when he was 12 years old. During a vacation in Wyoming he was put on a dog sled, and from then he was hooked to the sport. In 2000 Petit moved to Alaska, working odd jobs and dabbling in the dog sledding scene. In 2010 Petit volunteered to help 15-time Iditarod finisher, Jim Lanier, at his kennel. Lanier was unable to run the Iditarod because of the need for a hip replacement, so he gave Petit permission to run with his team.
Petit accepted the challenge set before him. He put in the time to train, satisfied the requirements set by the Iditarod in order to qualify for the race, and raised the necessary funds. In the 2011 Iditarod Petit finished 28th, the best among all 13 rookies in the field. Petit won the 2011 Jerry Austin Rookie of the Year Award.
In the 2012 Iditarod Petit placed 29th. In 2013 he shaved more than a full day off his time and placed 6th, about four hours behind winner, Mitch Seavey, and earned the Iditarod Most Improved Musher award. Petit scratched late in the 2014 Iditarod, while in third place, due to concerns about some of his team’s health. Also, in 2014 Petit raced the Copper Basin 300, placing 2nd. In 2015 Petit returned to the Iditarod with a 10th place finish and won the Leohnard Seppala Humanitarian Award.
In 2016 Petit placed first in races such as the Kobuk 440, and the inaugural Willow 300. He placed 7th in the Iditarod with his best finish time yet while winning the award for fastest time from Safety to Nome.
Nic Petit clocked his fastest Iditarod time in 2017 with a third place finish. He received the award for the First Musher to the Yukon and Fastest Time from Safety to Nome.
Currently Nic is in first place with 700 miles of the trail behind him. His team looked fresh and ready to go when they pulled out of Unalakleet Sunday afternoon. This may be his year to win the Iditarod, but right behind him is the three time champion Mitch Seavey and the strong competitor Joar Leifseth Ulsom.
Behind the scenes in Unalakleet as Nic Petit speaks with the media. Video Courtesy of Non-stop Dogwear.
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