The Iditarod 8 day race kicks off with the ceremonial run in Anchorage on Saturday 3/4 this year instead of Willow due to trail conditions in Willow.

The actual race called the restart steps off  on Monday March 6th in Fairbanks.  The Iditarod webpage says 72 mushers are signed up to run this year’s race. This year’s Fairbanks route measures 979 miles.

There are two new rules this year.

  1. The Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors lifted the ban on two-way communication device, allowing mushers to carry cell phones and other electronics that can connect up to wireless Internet, like an iPod Touch.
  2. The committee also decided to forbid mushers from carrying dogs in trailer pulled behind their sled. This has been a key race strategy for mushers including defending champion Dallas Seavey, who used a trailer to rest dogs during stretches of the race like a coach resting players on a bench during a basketball game.

The Iditarod site say we can expect a winner in Nome sometime early Wednesday March 15th. Last year’s winner Dallas Seavey won $75,000 and a new Dodge vehicle.

Want to know more about this years race? Click here for the full Alaska Daily News report.

The dogs.

A little history.