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It Starts Tomorrow

Iditarod map even yearsOK, so tomorrow is really a parade of the mushers from Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip, and the real racing starts on Sunday from Willow.

There has been a noticeable lack of substantial snowfall on the southern half of the course, which will make for some rough riding and problems steering. So far things have gotten a little colder than last week, but heat will still be a concern when the dogs would prefer temperatures below 20°F [-7°C].

Teams leave Willow at two minute intervals, with the time difference adjusted at the 24-hour stop, i.e. the team that left Willow last can leave after 24 hours, but the team that left first will have over 2 hours added to their stop.

In addition to the 24-hour stop, the teams must make an 8-hour stop on the Yukon, and everyone has an 8-hour stop at White Mountain. The stops have to be at checkpoints, and they can’t be combined.

The trail around Rainy Pass through the Alaska Range is probably the hardest on sleds and mushers, as the climb and descent involve a lot of switch-backs and mountain hugging. With a snow deficit, it will be nastier than normal.

If the wind kicks up around the Norton Sound, blizzard conditions and wind chills below -40°[same in F & C] are quite common.

The Mushers in bold are former winners of the Iditarod, the numbers in parentheses are their Bib numbers, and the small “R” indicates a rookie.

The Iditarod posts will be updated during the day, and the map changed on all posts to reflect the current situation.

All posts on the Iditarod can be seen by selecting “Iditarod” from the Category box on the right sidebar.

Below the fold is the starting grid:

Linwood Fiedler (2)
Cim Smyth (3)
Wattie McDonald (4)R
Zoya DeNure (5)
Jessie Royer (6)
Paul Gebhardt (7)
John Baker (8)
Ray Redington, Jr (9)
Justin Savidis (10)R
Blake Freking (11)
Matt Hayashida (12)
Scott White (13)R
Newton Marshall (14)R
Jeff King (15)
William “Middie” Johnson (16)R
Pat Moon (17)R
Ross Adam (18)
Dallas Seavey (19)
Hans Gatt (20)
Ramey Smyth (21)
Jane Faulkner (22)R
Karin Hendrickson (23)
ArtChurch, Jr(24)
Ryan Redington (25)
Tamara Rose (26)R
Warren Palfrey (27)
Quinn Iten (28)R
Karen Ramstead (29)
Michael Suprenant (30)
DeeDee Jonrowe (31)
Robert Nelson (32)
Chris Adkins (33)R
Kirk Barnum (34)
Sebastian Schnuelle (35)
Michelle Phillips (36)R
Martin Buser (37)
Kristy Berington (38)R
Cindy Gallea (39)
William Pinkham (40)
Mitch Seavey (41)
Sven Haltmann (42)
Jim Lanier (43)
Sonny Lindner (44)
Hank Debruin (45)R
Kathleen Frederick (46)R
Zack Steer (47)
Gerald Sousa (48)
Lance Mackey (49)
Aliy Zirkle (50)
Ken Anderson (51)
Dave DeCaro (52)R
Emil Churchin (53)R
Allen Moore (54)
Gerry Willomitzer (55)
Hugh Neff (56)
Rick Swenson (57)
Celeste Davis (58)R
Michael Williams, Jr. (59)R
Trent Herbst (60)
Colleen Robertia (61)R
Thomas Lesatz (62)
Lachlan Clarke (63)
Dan Kaduce (64)R
Bruce Linton (65)
Sam Deltour (66)
Peter Kaiser (67)R
Tom Thurston (68)
John Stewart (69)R
Billy Snodgrass (70)
Jason Barron (71)
Judy Currier (72)

Note: By tradition since her death, Bib number 1 is reserved for Susan Butcher.


1 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 03.05.10 at 9:31 pm }

…maybe I haven’t been paying sufficient attention over the last several years, but there seems to be a remarkable number of rookies this year. Our own Rachel Scdoris is taking this year off (in order to train for and compete in an Anchorage-to-Cancun tandem bike race) and will be competing in a locally organized sled dog event around Mt. Bachelor this weekend…

2 Bryan { 03.05.10 at 9:59 pm }

I wondered if she had given up, which would be a shame because hers is an inspiring story.

Many of the “rookies” have run the Quest, like Newton Marshall from the Jamaican Sled Dog Team. or are from mushing families, like Quinn Iten.

Actually there are the same number of rookies this year as last, but three more veterans. [I rarely clean out old spreadsheets.]

The economy and travel rules are affecting the races. Before two last minute $50k donations, the purse was going to be cut by $100k while the entry fee is now $4k, and Norway didn’t send a team this year after visa problems last year.