Thursday, March 3, 2016

ID: Bib Draw and Start Banquet

A packed house enjoyed entertainment, speeches and great food at the Denai'na Centre in downtown Anchorage this evening at the Mushers' Banquet and Bib Draw. It's always a great evening with many supporters and fans lined up to see Aliy and Allen and get their posters, programs and T-shirts signed and to take a selfie or two!

Awesome table centrepiece from "RES" in grade 3 from Raymond ME; breathtaking print from Zane Giles taken at Nenana during last year's race

Some fans and supporters line up for Aliy's picture and autograph; best hat of the night??

Mike Williams Snr blessed the race, the mushers and the dogs, and Hobo Jim was there to sing his famous "I did, I did, I did the Iditarod Trail" as well as the National Anthem and the Alaska Flag Song. The live and silent auctions raised a lot of money for the race and this year's honorary musher Joanne Potts was honored for her many years of hard work for the Iditarod organisation.

Each musher then got to cross the stage, draw their bib number out of the mukluk and say a few words of thanks. Allen was first up and he drew number 5 for his team. He thanked major sponsors Matson, Eagle Pack and Verizon and all our dog and website sponsors and fans. The Black Team will leave the starting chute on Saturday at 10.06am.

Aliy thanked Alaska for being "her sweetheart" and also her team of 16 four legged family members. She thanked sponsors, friends, family and fans of not just her but of the dogs. The Red Team will be wearing number 13 for their journey to Nome. This means they will take off at 10.24am on Saturday morning for the Ceremonial Start.


Anonymous said...

Good Luck numbers and as there are soooo many teams, it might be possible to stay ahead a bit in this warm weather. The excitement is contagious as always. Thank you very much for the upkeep of sharing and insights .

Cindy Schaus said...

Woo Hoo! Great bib draw for SPK red and black teams. Looks like a fun evening. My plans right now are to be there next year or in 2018.

Lourdes, VT said...

God bless and guide the Red and Black Teams on the journey to Nome!!! Will be following your progress from Vermont!!! ❤️πŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ’–πŸΆπŸΆπŸΆπŸΆπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎ

Carrie Hopkins, Windsor, CT said...

Woo-hoo! Can't wait to be watching Saturday. Getting my refresh finger ready again! Good luck, SPK! We'll be running right along side you!

Nessmuk said...

Nice Bib Draw numbers!! Fingers crossed for a smooth pass between Red and Black Teams! Enjoy your "day of rest" this's about to get crazy in about 24 hours!!

Kathy said...

Wow! Great Bib Numbers! Wish I was there to help in any way. Of
course, with that fantastic crew--piece of cake for them.
GOOD LUCK & SAFE TRAVEL Allen & Aliy! Give the dogs a hug for me!
Will be watching the GPS. GO-O SPK!!!!

Lisa B said...

My excitement is building and I'm ready to cheer Aliy, Allen and the 4 legged athletes down the trail. Best of luck to the Red and Black teams for a great Iditarod!

Steve Parker said...

Good bib draws for both teams. Good luck, mush on and safe trails.

Margaret said...

So exciting!!!

Almost too much to bear - and I don't mean the four legged animal!

If memory serves, #1 is reserved for Official "car" so Red Team has Number One - DOZEN!!! Or anyway, a baker's dozen!!!

Black Team - great pick for number!!! "#5 in Gold" one of my favorite American paintings (Demuth).

Woof, woof, woof!!!

A-town's Becky said...

Great numbers
I'm staying up "late" after work Saturday morning to watch the start.
Go SPK, woohoo!!!

J elliott said...

Very nice! 'Uneven' numbers seem to bear more fortune, as they follow the way nature 'works'.

Out of the massive number of starting race groups - wow!

Us fans/followers are SO ready!!!

Gaye Morgan-Walton said...

I've always called 13 one of my special lucky numbers. That's a good one!! Go, go, go SPK RED!!!!

Marilyn cozzens said...

Great start numbers& you only have to go 3 miles on shortened ceremonial start. Then get the teams to Willow for the "real" start. Mush on you guys. Very exciting.

Sunny said...

Way to go, SP Kennel teams - go RED and BLACK! It's just the beginning for your long voyages over mountains and rivers and for our long nights of 'refreshing'. :) God speed to the SP Kennel 4-leggeds and Aliy and Allen. We will be watching and our hearts will be with you. Have fun tomorrow. We know the 'real' race doesn't start until Sunday.....or until everyone has taken their 24's....ha... but we're with you along the entire long, long race. I'm cheering you on from Minnesota along with all the other fans from all over the world. GO SP KENNEL! Have a safe and happy start - and a safe and happy race. You have trained the best canine athletes. You have pushed yourselves to be the best human athletes you can be, too. Your hard work, dedication and passion don't go un-noticed. Not to mention your good attitudes. Thank you to all the SP Kennel team members for sharing this with us. I'm all psyched up, as usual, waiting to cheer for my favorites - the Red and Black teams. Can't wait.