Allen and the Black Team will wear bib number 36 and Aliy and the Red Team will wear bib 41 down the Iditarod Trail!
During the day, our Ceremonial Start athletes (plus Rambler) and Chris, Ruth and Mark journeyed down the Parks Highway to Anchorage. It was a picture postcard day!
Then, this evening at the Dena'ina Centre in Anchorage the human crew enjoyed the Mushers' Banquet and Bib Draw. It's amazing how many familiar faces you see amongst a room of 5,000 people! Thank you to all our Team Members, Dog Fans and supporters that stopped by to say hello, it was lovely to meet you all.
Banquet program; Aliy with Kenny Gill, Matson Vice President - Alaska
Hobo Jim kicked the evening off with his familiar tunes before Mike Williams opened the banquet with a special and particularly relevant invocation. The UAA Glee Club sang National Anthem and the Alaska Flag song and gave a great performance despite some microphone issues. The Athabaskan Fiddlers Assoc accompanied our dinner before we were introduced to honoured guests and several of the major race sponsors. After that we got to hear from every musher as they drew their bibs and thanked everyone who has got them to the starting line. Just getting to that point is a major achievement so it is nice everyone gets to acknowledge the help they have received.
Aliy, Allen and Ashley; Chris, Ruth and Mark
Aliy is interviewed by Greg Heister for the Insider; interview for "The Big Alaska Show"
Allen draws #36
Allen thanked our major sponsors and handling crew plus everyone in the room that makes the Iditarod what it is!
Aliy draws #41
Aliy thanked everyone who sent her love, light and prayers after what happened last year but assured us all she was READY! That drew a huge cheer from the crowd. She also thanked her dogs for agreeing to do this thing one more time. Thanks also to major sponsors Matson who have been with SPK "through thick and thin", Verizon and Eagle Pack.