Iditarod Sled Dog Race Ceremonial Start

The Iditarod is truly amazing. This year, seventy-eight mushers and their teams of 16 dogs will compete to take home the first place prize for traveling approximately 1,000 miles through rough terrain in unpredictable weather in about nine days.

Due of the unseasonably warm weather, the race that usually starts in Willow had to be moved more than 200 miles north to Fairbanks in order to find snow.  Although I couldn’t make the restart, I was able to cheer on the teams during the ceremonial start at the annual Iditarod Trailgate, located in Anchorage. There are a number of amazing organizers who have put on this event for the past six years. Imagine a tailgate party, but for the Iditarod. Good BBQ. Good music. Good drinks. Good company and overall a great celebration!

We welcomed the guests of honor as they arrived on the snowy-slush covered trail.

This year we had to make do with the rain and massive puddles. Some decided to leave their snow gear at home and sport beachwear instead. This is only the second time in the last 43 years that the race had to be moved north because of the conditions; unfortunately many believe it won’t be the last.

Over 1,200 four-legged heros will be on the trail and each and everyone of them has their own personality.

In between the teams running by we filled the time with puddle jumping and dancing.

Of the 894 mushers who have raced the Iditarod, only 20 have won. Iditarod winners are celebrities in Alaska. This year, six of the twenty are competing for the winning title again.

But if you ask me – everyone who participates is a winner, both the two-legged and four-legged.

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