Future KNOM Volunteer,
What did you do this week? Do you perhaps wish you were doing something else, something most people don’t ever get to do? Like gather updates to report on the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, the famous 1,000 mile run across Alaska that finishes in Nome? Or perhaps you’d rather be waiting on Front St, interviewing mushers- celebrities to our region- crossing through the Burled Arch finish line? Maybe you’d like to be at the studio, DJing and updating our web info while making sure our programming runs smoothly. Or… OR…
…you wish you were sitting in a parked car outside of town at two in the morning. Binoculars on one hand, coffee mug on the other. The cold and the darkness doesn’t get to ya thanks to your trusty sidekick (Josh!) sitting next to you, singing songs, cracking jokes. You wait and wait to catch sight of a dog team headed towards Nome, and when you do, you let our listeners know..
I love everything about KNOM’s race coverage (and as a volunteer you will get to do it all!), but I have a soft spot for our spotter vehicle. Perhaps the spotter position is not as glamorous as the others but it certainly is just as important. You also get to see the action before everyone else, which is pretty awesome.
During the last leg of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, KNOM provides 24 hour coverage. Our staff works 12+ hour work days to make it happen, either in the morning or at night. I’m scheduled from 6pm-6am, which is broken up into 4 hour segments of Front St reporting, spotting, and being “on the board”, announcing stuff on the air.
Mitch Seavey, Aliy Zirkle, Jeff King and a few others (including Joar the Norwegian rookie) are currently doing a mandatory 8 hour layover in the village of White Mountain. After that, they’ll be on their way to the finish line. Six months ago I had no idea who these people were, where White Mountain was, or what this all meant. Don’t worry, future volunteer, you will learn. All you need to know right now is that the race is ON! We’re expecting our first mushers to cross the finish line tonight.
We have several guests staying at the Volunteer House through the race, and we’re not the only ones housing strangers. It’s like the population in town has doubled over night and the energy is very palpable. They say this is one of the closest races in recent memory. I’m pumped!
I’ve tried following soccer, I’ve tried following football. I’ve even tried to understand badminton (no-go). Finally, I, Daynee Rosales, have found a sport to obsess over. A sport that caters to my eccentric nature, a sport where dogs wear shoes (booties!), where “players” are rewarded with pie (Takotna!), and where there are no losers; there are those who finish and those who don’t.
This, my friends, is the world of competitive mushing. Some friends in the lower 48 may refer to my Iditarod ramblings as “incomprehensible crazy talk.” In Alaska, I make complete sense.
I love it.