28 February 2017

When Will the Iditarod Trail Race Start? And Other Questions

DeeDee Jonrowe accepts a pair of earrings on Cordova Street during the ceremonial start in 2016. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
As mushers and their sled dog teams prepare to dash to Nome and spectators prepare to follow their journeys, the Alaska Dispatch News prepared answers to a few questions about how the race works and what we might expect this year.
1. When will the 2017 Iditarod start?
It begins with an 11-mile ceremonial start on Saturday, March 4, at 10 a.m. in Anchorage. Mushers and their teams will take off from Fourth Avenue, near where it intersects with D Street. They'll turn onto Cordova Street and drop down the hill to Mulcahy Stadium before snaking their way along city trails and ending their run at the Campbell Airstrip in Far North Bicentennial Park.
Two days later, the official race begins in Fairbanks on Monday, March 6, at 11 a.m. If temperatures stay low, teams will start on the frozen Chena River near Pike's Landing. If it warms up and the river ice melts, the race will move to a nearby road.
Iditarod musher Jessie Royer mushes past the Riverboat Discovery on the Chena River in Fairbanks in 2015.  (Loren Holmes / ADN)
Teams will leave the starting chute one by one, at two-minute intervals. People can park at the Carlson Center where shuttle buses will leave for the start beginning at 8 a.m., said Lanien Livingston, Fairbanks North Star Borough spokeswoman.


LindaG said...

Good luck to them all and may God keep them all safe.

Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, Linda.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Go doggies! And your mushers!

Rev. Paul said...

Wing, I bet you miss certain aspects of winter, up here. At least a little. :)

On a Wing and a Whim said...

A little, yeah. I miss the sunlight on snow, the breathtaking beauty of the way the morning gilds the mountains, the aurora (even if the aurora is usually coffee-flavoured and adrenaline-spiked, with "What? What? Who's hurt? It's 3am... Oh! Aurora! Okay, okay, I'm up, I'm up! Bird Point? Meet you there!")

I miss the Iditarod start, and the sheer join of a malamute in the snow. (Unless you're inside cooking bacon. Then the malamute in the snoooooow lets you know there is no joy in Mudville tonight.)

I miss flying in winter once the ice has finished sublimating off everywhere you didn't scrape off, in a plane with a working heater (or enough cabin room for good winter clothes).

But I don't miss the cold. And I don't miss the arctic highs with their -40 + windchill of 90 knot winds and flying sand, not one bit. Nor shoveling. Nope, don't miss falling on ice, either!

Rev. Paul said...

I understand every one of those points, and agree to a large extent. Like all Alaskans, we sometimes fantasize briefly about living somewhere a little warmer. But we have that big, beautiful home now, and studded snow boots ... and a gassed-up snowblower. :)