Sunday, March 3, 2013

It Is Iditarod Time~

The dogs are headed to Nome.
They took off from Fourth Avenue in the 
Ceremonial Start in Anchorage on the first Saturday in March.
And then the race is on!



Thursday was the Start Banquet where they drew for bib numbers.
The bib number tells them the order in which they will
leave the chute.


 The mushers arrive in Anchorage with all of their gear.
At the start they often use two sleds to create more drag 
as they run down the busy street.
Passenger rides can also be purchased or donated for the ride from the chute.

Each musher must start with a basic list of necessities for their run.
Snowshoes are one of the requirements for all teams-the musher below has theirs already
strapped to the sled.
When they arrive in Nome every team
must still have all of their equipment found on
the check list.

It is interesting to note that at least half of the mushers expected to be
contenders for the top 10 finishers are over 50 years old.  
What a diverse group will be starting this year..check them out here.

I think to take the Iditarod challenge any musher must have a lot of 
"get up and go" in them!


As I was flying on the jet I noticed how little snow there is 
between Anchorage and Nome.
The trail breakers are predicting a fast, hard-packed trail.
It could be a record-breaking year.
Or, 
Mother Nature could change all of that .... as she has in the past!


Much of the trail is run on the rivers,
but other parts are through trees and over steep inclines.

The racers say it is a whole new race when they hit the coast!
Their prearranged drops usually include a new sled which is a style
more suitable for the coastal terrain.


Once the race is over the dogs have to get back home.
Most of them will 
leave Nome in an igloo (yes, this is a real one!)..


and be loaded onto the jet for a more relaxing ride back to Anchorage.


Hopefully the dogs and mushers will be able to relive wonderful memories of a great race
as they sit back and let the pilots do the driving.....





3 comments:

  1. Hi Sharon, love the stories from your part of the World. We have just finished watching the Gold Divers under the ice, here in the UK. Half way through I suddenly realised its where you live!!! The race is actually getting coverage over here so we will be able to follow it. Thanks for sharing. Susie x

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  2. I read some of the bios of the race participants. It was really interesting to see the range of individuals in the race. I was surprised to see how many were not born in Alaska. I particularly enjoyed reading about the women. It definitely smashed a of stereotypes for me.

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  3. Best of luck to all the dogs and all the mushers! Spring is coming :)

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Sharon