Friday, March 1, 2013

Counting Down to the Start of the Big One.

The 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race begins tomorrow with a ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage, and the “real” race begins at 2 p.m. Sunday on Willow Lake.  As usual, I’ll be following the race as closely as my job permits, which is sometimes a little bit “hit or miss”.  The best way to follow the race is to use the resources provided in the Iditarod Ultimate Insider package, including GPS tracking, lots of video, and well written commentary by experienced Iditarod mushers such as the “armchair musher” Sebastian Schnuelle.

During odd numbered years, the Iditarod follows the southern route.  At Ophir the mushers “haw” to the left to take the historical trail through the ghost town of Iditarod, and on through Shagaluk, Anvik, Graying, and then running up the Yukon River to Kaltag before rejoining the historical trail over the ancient Kaltag portage to Unalakleet on the Bering Sea coast.

The start banquet was held last night, where mushers drew their bibs to determine the start order of this year’s race.  Start position in this race isn’t particularly important to the outcome.  Early leaders may find themselves breaking and packing trail for those following, those in the middle of the pack may enjoy a really nice trail established by those leaders, while mushers further down on the list may find the trail degenerating due to the sheer numbers of dog’s feet, drag mats and brake teeth digging into the base, but those factors don’t become significant until well into the race.

1. Jan Newton, Honorary
2. Martin Buser, Big Lake
3. Scott Janssen, Anchorage
4. Jodi Bailey, Chatanika
5. Lance Mackey, Fairbanks
6. Ken Anderson, Fairbanks
7. Michelle Phillips, Tagish, Yukon, Canada
8. Newton Marshall, St. Ann, Jamaica
9. Kelley Griffin, Wasilla
10. Peter Kaiser, Bethel
11. Paul Gebhardt, Kasilof
12. Jason Mackey, Wasilla
13. John Baker, Kotzebue
14. Paige Drobny, Fairbanks
15. Charley Bejna, Addison, Ill.
16. Nicolas Petit, Girdwood
17. Cindy Gallea, Wykoff, Minn.
18. Jeff King, Denali
19. Dallas Seavey, Willow
20. Kristy Berington, Kasilof
21. Gerry Willomitzer, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
22. Travis Beals, Seward
23. Robert Bundtzen, Anchorage
24. Aaron Burmeister, Nome
25. Kelly Maixner, Big Lake
26. Jan Steves, Edmonds, Wash.
27. Aliy Zirkle, Two Rivers
28. DeeDee Jonrowe, Willow
29. Karin Hendrickson, Wasilla
30. Jessie Royer, Darby, Mont.
31. Anna Berington, Kasilof
32. Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Roros, Norway
33. Michael Suprenant, Chugiak
34. Justin Savidis, Willow
35. Mike Williams, Sr., Akiak
36. Mitch Seavey, Seward
37. Christine Roalofs, Anchorage
38. Ramey Smyth, Willow
39. Rudy Demoski, Sr., Wasilla
40. Angie Taggart, Ketchikan
41. Ed Stielstra, McMillan, Mich.
42. Linwood Fiedler, Willow
43. Bob Chlupach, Willow
44. Jake Berkowitz, Big Lake
45. Curt Perano, Queenstown, New Zealand
46. Michael Williams, Jr., Akiak
47. Luan R. Marques, Macae, Brazil
48. Allen Moore, Two Rivers
49. Gerald Sousa, Talkeetna
50. Mike Ellis, Two Rivers
51. Cim Smyth, Big Lake
52. Ray Redington, Jr., Wasilla
53. Louie Ambrose, St. Michael
54. Jessica Hendricks, Two Rivers
55. Josh Cadzow, Fort Yukon
56. David Sawatzky, Healy
57. Wade Marrs, Wasilla
58. Aaron Peck, Bezanson, Alberta, Canada
59. Jim Lanier, Chugiak
60. Cindy Abbott, Irvine, Calif.
61. Matt Failor, Big Lake
62. Brent Sass, Manley Hot Springs
63. Mikhail Telpin, Yanrakkynot, Chukotka, Russia
64. Matt Giblin, Sterling
65. Richie Diehl, Aniak
66. James Volek, Big Lake
67. Sonny Lindner, Two Rivers

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