Brent Sass Dropped Out of the 2023 Iditarod Race — What Happened to Him?

Tatayana Yomary - Author

Mar. 13 2023, Published 12:58 p.m. ET

Folks with a deep affinity for Iditarod — an Alaskan dog sled race that starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome — are familiar with Brent Sass. Brent is the reigning champion of the Iditarod.

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Brent initially entered the 2023 race to defend his title; however, it appears that he has dropped out due to health concerns. So, what happened to Brent Sass?

Here’s everything that we know.

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Brent Sass will be sitting out of the Iditarod race due to health issues.

In a March 12, 2023 Instagram post, Brent shared that he has decided to drop out of the race due to ongoing issues with his health — in particular, problems with his periodontal and respiratory system.

"Unfortunately I had been sick the entire race with a bad cold, chest pain, body aches, sore throat all that progressively got worse as we traveled down the trail," Brent wrote. "I was giving everything I had to keep it positive and focus on my dogs so we could continued the race. Then two days ago some cracked teeth started giving me issues and over a 12-hour period turned into nearly unbearable pain."

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Brent continued, “My body shutdown and for two runs I just hung on. Ultimately, I couldn’t care for the dogs. Temperatures dropped to -30F and the combination of all that led to some tough decisions.”

Brent went on to share that after being at the Eagle Island checkpoint for eight hours, he ultimately decided to drop out of the race since it was in the best interest of his dogs and his health.

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Brent Sass shared that he’s currently getting medical care in Unalakleet.

According to Alaska Public Media, Iditarod officials shared that Brent and his dog team were set to be picked up on March 11 by plane from Eagle Island and taken to another location for medical attention.

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And while the outlet didn’t share Brent’s destination, the dog musher revealed on Instagram that he is currently receiving care in Unalakleet.

“Thanks to race Marshall Mark Nordman and Dr. Jodie Guest I am being taken care of here in Unalakleet and have a comfortable place to stay,” Brent wrote. “The dogs are in the great care of the Iditarod and making their way to Anchorage. My amazing support crew of friends and family are working on logistics to get me and the dogs home so I can deal with my health and teeth issues ASAP. “

Brent’s father, Mark Sass, told the outlet on the morning of March 11 that he had been awaiting more details about the incident.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sad, but it is what it is,” Mark told the site. “I just want him to be OK.”

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As of this writing, it’s currently unknown if Brent has any plans of competing in the Iditarod in the future.

Our thoughts are with Brent Sass at this time.

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