Martin Buser

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Not to be confused with Martin Bucer.
Martin Buser
Four time champion Martin Buser looking very relaxed (4416494454).jpg
Martin Buser during the ceremonial start of the 2010 Iditarod.
Born (1958-03-29) March 29, 1958 (age 57)
Winterthur, Switzerland
Residence Big Lake, Alaska
Nationality American (naturalized)
Occupation Sled dog musher

Martin Buser (born March 29, 1958 in Winterthur, Switzerland) is a champion of sled dog racing.[1]

Martin Buser began mushing at age seventeen in Switzerland. In 1979, Buser moved to Alaska to train and raise sled dogs full-time. His training operation, Happy Trails Kennels, is located in Big Lake, Alaska.

He entered his first Iditarod in 1980, and has run every race since 1986, his third Iditarod. Buser has won the event four times, in 1992, 1994, 1997, and 2002. On sixteen occasions, he has finished among the top ten finishers. He is the runner-up for fastest finish time in Iditarod history; his team completed the 2002 race in 8 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes, and 2 seconds. He entered his first Yukon Quest in 2009 and finished in fourth place, earning him "Rookie of the Year."

His sense of humor and positive outlook have made him a fan favorite. In 2008, he comically caused quite a stir among fans worldwide when he accidentally gave his GPS unit to a pilot who was transporting dogs and equipment to and from a checkpoint, when the race was first introducing GPS tracking on the racers so fans could follow their paths live.[2]

Martin also has a happy-go-lucky way about him. It shows mostly clearly when he talks in highly annoying/exaggerated tone of voice to his dogs. Other top competiters in the Iditarod, like DeeDee Jonrowe and Aliy Zirkle have found this method to work well in communicating with their dogs.

Married to educator Kathy Chapoton, Buser named his sons, Nikolai and Rohn, after Iditarod check points. Upon completion of his fourth Iditarod victory in March 2002, Buser was naturalized as a citizen of the United States under the burled arch in Nome that marks the race's official finish line.

Buser and his Happy Trails Kennels were featured on an episode of the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs program as well as on the sixth episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska.