The Iditarod Ceremonial Start is just that: ceremonial. You will see some dogs on our rosters for today that will not be leaving for the 1000 mile adventure on Monday but, perhaps for sentimental reasons or because we left some of the dogs at home that don't travel well, we wanted them on the team for this celebration.
Mushers take just 12 dogs and, as long as they are one of the 40 dogs that have been through the pre-rate vet checks, ECGs and blood tests any dog can run in the ceremonial start.
The route starts on 4th Avenue and winds through the streets of downtown Anchorage finishing at the Campbell Airstrip some 11 miles away. The streets are lined with thousands of supporters and we always enjoy the day.
At 11.10am Allen will lead out with Quito and Lydia, Olivia and Chemo, Chena and Ernie, Bean and Hotshot, Five and Cayenne, Scooby and Ginger. Allen's Iditarider is Jaci Owen from Washington and Ruth will be riding the tag sled.
Quito and Lydia lead the Black Team on the Ceremonial run
Following just ten minutes behind, Aliy will lead out with Nacho and Junior, Kodiak and Izzy, Dutch and Schmoe, Spark and Amber, Iron and Champ, Violet and Daisy. Aliy's Iditarider is Dianne Cox from California. Moira will be riding the tag sled.
Nacho and Junior lead the Red Team on the Ceremonial run
Click here for more information about the Ceremonial Start athletes.
We will get pictures and video to share with you as soon as we can.