The countdown is on for the start of the 2017 Iditarod Sled-dog race on March 4th.
Sign-ups for the next year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began Saturday. 40 veterans and 12 rookies are on the list so far to compete in 2017.
For multiple pairs of Iditarod teams — Wade Marrs and Pete Kaiser, and Scott Smith and Noah Burmeister — the most competitive stretch of trail came down to the final mile.
In Unalakleet, mushers were hoping to hop, skip, and leap-frog their teams toward the top ten. “It’s gonna be a crowded party at White Mountain,” Kelly Maixner says. “I’d better go get there.”
Mushers from Nome, Aniak, Bethel, and Akiak are among the more than 60 sign-ups for the 2016 Iditarod.
Kotzebue’s John Baker and Aniak’s Richie Diehl make a good showing for Western Alaska in Iditarod 43 — finishing 21st and 23rd, respectively.
“I’m too old for this crap,” Chuck Schaeffer says. On the Yukon, Schaeffer and Richie Diehl talk about the sometimes-rough trail to Ruby, Galena, and beyond.
From Aniak, Bethel, Nome, and Kotzebue, some of western Alaska’s mushers share their thoughts on their teams and the 1000 miles of trail that lay ahead.
Kaiser is the first Bethel musher to win the race in 29 years.
Twenty-five mushers will take off from Bethel over a fast, icy trail to Aniak and back Friday night in the 36th annual running of the Kuskokwim 300.