Iditarod 2019

Saturday, March 2 was the 111th Iditarod held in Anchorage Alaska. Well, the opening ceremony that is; all the racers assemble in downtown Anchorage for the opening ceremony and then one-by-one mush to the airport where the dogs get put away until Sunday where the race officially starts in Willow AK.

This year was an “odd year” where the mushers will take the southern route, skipping Fairbanks.


On “normal years”, the mushers would use the northern route.

I had a lot of fun being there, and expeshually because I had a camera! I really enjoyed searching the crowds for emotions and styles (etc) and interactions between the mushers and their dogs; as well as how the dogs were feeling. I could explain everything to you in words, but I feel pictures may be able to tell you this story a bit better this time. 🙂

While taking a corner, quite a few of the mushers fell because they didn’t know how to ‘take the turn’. This team here, however, knows you have to slow the dogs down by using the brake and slide the left foot out to balance yourself and the sled.
The black sled and the rider in the front sled (sitting) are only for show here. During the real race, it will only be the mushers and his dogs.
Musher touching noses with one of his dogs and checking in them before being called for introduction and the ceremonial mush.
For each of the sixteen/ twelve dogs, (sets of six or eight) somone of the mushing family or friends would stand and (try) to keep the dogs calm and from trying to run before it is their time. The easiest way is to attach an external harness, show here, to get a good, big grip and plant your feet in solid.
Each team had their dog team “decorated” in a different way that expressed them. Bins here, could it be any cutier??
You’ve probably heard the way mushing dogs BARK while waiting to run! These two were yawning for stress and barking from anticipation. 😄
My favorite team; due to the utter softness and cuteness!!
Musher putting booties on one of his dogs to keep the paws protected from sharp objects (I.e gravel and ice) and to keep the pads somewhat warm, though these dogs are bred for frigid temperatures. (The mushers are not)
Each tram received much cheering and and clapping all the way to their airport. Thankfully there was enough snow this year that not much had to be added to the streets.
The CANADIAN military was stationed here to, well, mostly shovel. Lol
A perfect combination of dog, musher, mountain, light and snow.

I will be writing several more blog posts on different elements of my Iditarod experience. You can be sure there will be many, many more pictures for me and adorable dogs!

If you would like to know more information and get more in-depth about the routes (etc), I found this website most helpful-https://iditarod.com/about/the-iditarod-trail/

Hope you can join us in Alaska next year for the 112th Iditarod race! 🙂