Sixty mushers are set to race to Nome in March after official Iditarod registration kicked off over the weekend.
Thirty-six mushers signed up in person at the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla Saturday. Two dozen entered by mail.
Defending Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey, as well as other past champions like his father Mitch Seavey, Lance Mackey, Jeff King, and Martin Buser, all entered. Buser’s son Rohn will also be a contender in the race, marking the junior Buser’s third Iditarod run.
Western Alaska mushers already signed up include Bethel’s Pete Kaiser and Aniak’s Richie Diehl.
Other familiar faces to return for the 2015 race include perennial frontrunner Aliy Zirkle, Nick Petit, Tok musher Hugh Neff, DeeDee Jonrowe, and 73-year-old musher Jim Lanier.
In all, six countries—the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, and France—are represented in the 2015 field so far. Among the American mushers, competitors are coming from Alaska, California, Washington, Minnesota, Colorado, and Montana. So far, the field includes 15 registered rookies.
Registration for the 2015 Junior Iditarod also opened Saturday. Three budding mushers entered the 150-mile race—two rookies and last year’s red lantern, Willow’s Nicole Forto.
Mushers have until December 1 to enter the 2015 Iditarod. A full list of mushers registered for the 2015 race can be found at the official Iditarod website.