The Iditarod Trail Committee board of directors has named Joseph “Joee” Redington, Jr., the 2018 Honorary Musher. Redington passed away in August and was the oldest son of Joseph Redington, Sr., often called the “Father of the Iditarod.”
The Honorary Musher traditionally begins the race as the first across the ceremonial start line in Anchorage. In 2018, the position will be reserved for Redington, Jr.’s wife, Pam. According to a press release, she says she’s honored by the selection and that “her husband would have been honored, too.”
Redington, Jr., competed several times in the Iditarod in the 1960s and 70s. His top finish was in 1975, when he took third place. He and his wife were better known, however, as champion sprint mushers.
The Redingtons lived in Manley Hot Springs, west of Fairbanks. Redington, Jr., worked to help the community transform into the third Iditarod Trail checkpoint in 2003, 2015 and 2017. In those years, the race restart was moved to Fairbanks because of poor weather conditions.
Pam Redington will begin the ceremonial start of the 2018 Iditarod on March 3rd.
Image at top: Fans at the ceremonial start of the 2015 Iditarod. Photo: David Dodman, KNOM.