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Offline RE

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Re: 🐕 The Iditarod 2018: ...AND THE WINNER IS...
« Reply #105 on: March 14, 2018, 06:20:45 AM »

Just wanted you to know that I have enjoyed your reporting and commentary on the Iditarod.

Have absolutely nothing to offer as regards the state of the dogs, etc., and nothing to add to your commentary. My ignorance on this topic is encyclopedic. Your blog post on the origins and history of the race was informative and useful, and I enjoyed reading your posts. As someone else who posts stuff and wonders if anybody ever sees it, I just thought you ought to know.

Nice to see you follow something with positive enthusiasm. Well done.

THX.  :icon_sunny:

I know few people really care about this race or read the reports, but as an Alaskan I follow it with great interest, and I had the time to do the reports, so I did.  Keeps me bizzy.  ::)

RE
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🐕 Iditarod 2019 Pre-Race Coverage
« Reply #106 on: February 16, 2019, 06:21:53 PM »
The Iditarod, "The Last Great Race on Earth" begins in less than 2 weeks.  For those Diners who read the coverage of last year's Iditarod, you know the history of this race, it is inspired by the "Great Race for Mercy" in the 1920's, when Nome had a Diptheria Epidemic.  It was deemed to dangerous to use the early Bush Planes of the era to get the Serum to Nome, and so they did it by Dog Sled.  A Dog named Balto led the last team in the relay into Nome, in time to "Save As Many As They Could", and most of the population survived the epidemic.  There is a Statue of Balto in Central Park in NY Shity, that grand park designed & built in the same era by Frederic Law Ohlmstead.


The Iditarod is the last Sporting event I still follow, I gave up on MLB,the NBA & the NFL decades ago.  I gave up following gymnastics in the last 2 years with the Larry Nasser atrocities.  So once a year now, I go "Sports Crazy" for about 2 weeks before during and after the Iditarod.  Nowadays it is not a relay, one team of Dogs and their Musher do the entire 1000 mile trip, racing against the other Mushers.  I have a Premium Sponsorhip of the race, so I get access to all the GPS Tracking Data and videos from the Waypoints and Rest Stops.

This year's first story is a Bad Newz-Good Newz event.  It was reported that the local distributor of Coca-Cola was no longer going to sponsor the race.  The PETA people got to Coke, and they cancelled their Sponsorship of the race a couple of years ago.  I want to reiterate from a post here in the thread I made last year, Sled Dog Racing is NOT "Cruelty to Animals".  Sled Dogs are working dogs, and they are bred to run and love to run.  Their Mushers are devoted to their Dogs, and live and work for them.

The Good Newz is that this story was a bogus plant, as it turns out although Coke did cancel their sponsorship, the local Distributor did not.  They just took the Coke name off all their signs and logos.

RE

https://www.ktuu.com/content/news/Coca-Cola-backs-out-of-2019-Iditarod-505819481.html

UPDATE: Odom Corporation says it will continue to sponsor Iditarod, though without Coca-Cola's label
By Patrick Enslow |
Posted: Wed 9:22 PM, Feb 13, 2019  |
Updated: Thu 4:42 PM, Feb 14, 2019


ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Update, Feb. 14 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, spokesperson for the Iditarod Jennifer Thomspson told KTUU that the Odom Corporation is standing by its sponsorship of the 2019 Iditarod, though it won't do so under the Coca-Cola label.

In a statement from Odom, the distribution company said it was a proud sponsor:

“Although the Coca-Cola Company is not a sponsor of the Iditarod (they haven’t been since 2015), The Odom Corporation remains committed to supporting this meaningful local event. We are proud to be a sponsor of this year’s race. The historical importance of this event to the Alaskan community is one of the fundamental reasons why Odom remains committed to this annual event.”

The Iditarod said animal rights group People for the Ethical Treament of Animals re-purposed a story from 2015 to disrupt the Last Great Race.

However, on Wednesday when KTUU reached out to the Coca-Cola Company regarding their race sponsorship, the company confirmed its local distributor was not sponsoring this year’s Iditarod through any consumer brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company.

The statement from the Coca-Cola Company was as follows:

“Our local distributor in Alaska has informed us that they are not sponsoring this year’s Iditarod through any consumer brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company,” wrote Kent Landers, spokesperson for Coca-Cola.

KTUU has reached out to the Odom Corporation for clarification as to why the beverage company was no longer listed on the Iditarod website sponsorship page, and if another beverage would be taking its place.

Orginal Story:

The Coca-Cola Company announced Wednesday that its Alaska distributor, The Odom Corporation, will no longer sponsor the Iditarod.

According to an email from company spokesperson Kent Landers, the decision to drop its sponsorship was made locally, but that the company respects the move.

“Our local distributor in Alaska has informed us that they are not sponsoring this year’s Iditarod through any consumer brands owned by The Coca-Cola Company,” wrote Landers.

In response to Coca-Cola backing out, Iditarod’s Chief Operations Officer Chas St. George wrote in an email Wednesday that the Iditarod values its numerous other sponsors.

"The Iditarod Trail Committee's main focus right now is preparing for the 47th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race," St. George wrote. "We value and thank our numerous sponsors who believe in the mission of providing exemplary dog care, connecting with Alaska communities and who continue to support a safe and successful race for our canine athletes and mushers."

St.George says Coca-Cola was a wheel dog sponsor — the lowest tier of sponsorship. The beverage company was no longer listed on the Iditarod website sponsorship page.

Wednesday afternoon, the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals tweeted support for Coke’s decision.

In June, the maker of Jack Daniel’s dropped its sponsorship of Iditarod, and in September, Anchorage Distillery joined as a new sponsor.

The Iditarod ceremonial start begins in Anchorage on March 2.

A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Anchorage Distillery as Alaska Distillery.
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🐕 Iditarod 2019 Pre-Race Coverage: Iditarod Begins with the Junior Iditarod
« Reply #107 on: February 22, 2019, 03:06:15 AM »
Only a week to go before the Main Event COMMENCES!

RE

Eye on the Trail: Iditarod Begins with the Junior Iditarod
Posted by Terrie Hanke in Jr. Iditarod
Date: February 21, 2019 9:54 am


Jessica Klejka earns Jr. Iditarod Gold by 2 Seconds Over Cain Carter in 2018

Ask me when Iditarod begins and I’ll reply, “The last Saturday of February.”  Ardent Iditarod fans might attempt to set me straight with, “Don’t you mean the first Saturday of March?”  But no, I stand firm.  Iditarod begins with the Jr. Iditarod and that happens the last weekend of February. The young mushers that run the 150-mile junior race are the future of Iditarod as well as the sport of mushing.

Take time on the worst weather day of the year when an Internet search is as close to going outside, as you want to get and compare the archives of the junior race and the Iditarod.  Looking at the list of the mushers heading to the start in 2019, there are eight who’ve made the run out to Yentna Station Roadhouse and back as Jr. Iditarod mushers. The list includes but isn’t limited to (just incase I didn’t count right), Travis Beals, Aaron Burmeister, Lance Mackey, Wade Marrs, Ramey Smyth, Jeff Deeter, Ryan Redington and Jessica Klejka.

There has never been a Jr. Iditarod champion who has gone on to become an Iditarod champion.  If that were to happen in 2019, it would be up to Ramey Smyth, Jessica Klejka or Ryan Redington.  Smyth won as a rookie in ’92 and made it a duo in ’93.  Ryan Redington scored a pair of victories in ’99 and ’00. Jessica Klejka won her final Jr. Iditarod run in 2008 by a slim 2-second margin over Cain Carter.

This February will mark the 42nd running of the Jr. Iditarod.  Just like the Iditarod, the Jr. Iditarod began as a dream.  Joe Redington, Sr. dreamed of a long distance race across Alaska to commemorate the place of the sled dog in the history of Alaska and to keep the old mail trails alive.  Eric Beeman dreamed of a distance race for young mushers to help prepare them for the “Big Race”.  Beeman shared his dream with his young mushing friends while on winter camping trips with their dogs.  As the young mushers sat around the campfire listening to Eric’s idea of a junior length Iditarod, the concept grew in their minds and took on energy.

The folks working hard on the “Big Race,” had little if any time to lend their hand in organizing a junior race.  When the kids themselves brought Beeman’s dream to Joe, Sr., he like others was intrigued and supported the idea with encouragement.  The kids carried Joe’s words, “Go for it,” in their hearts as a blessing to continue the pursuit of their dream.  With the help of parents and mushing enthusiasts, Eric’s dream developed into a first class junior mushing event.

A volunteer for the Jr. Iditarod since before the very first race praises the 14 to 17 year old mushers, “The kids have astonished me year after year by their abilities and dedication to the race and their digs.  They demonstrate good judgment, maturity, resourcefulness, preparedness and excellent sportsmanship, to name only a few of their attributes.

Follow the Jr. Iditarod, meet the mushers, learn about the history, check the archives, enjoy photos and read Jr. Iditarod news at www.jriditarod.com.
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Offline azozeo

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Only a week to go before the Main Event COMMENCES!

RE

Eye on the Trail: Iditarod Begins with the Junior Iditarod
Posted by Terrie Hanke in Jr. Iditarod
Date: February 21, 2019 9:54 am


Jessica Klejka earns Jr. Iditarod Gold by 2 Seconds Over Cain Carter in 2018

Ask me when Iditarod begins and I’ll reply, “The last Saturday of February.”  Ardent Iditarod fans might attempt to set me straight with, “Don’t you mean the first Saturday of March?”  But no, I stand firm.  Iditarod begins with the Jr. Iditarod and that happens the last weekend of February. The young mushers that run the 150-mile junior race are the future of Iditarod as well as the sport of mushing.

Take time on the worst weather day of the year when an Internet search is as close to going outside, as you want to get and compare the archives of the junior race and the Iditarod.  Looking at the list of the mushers heading to the start in 2019, there are eight who’ve made the run out to Yentna Station Roadhouse and back as Jr. Iditarod mushers. The list includes but isn’t limited to (just incase I didn’t count right), Travis Beals, Aaron Burmeister, Lance Mackey, Wade Marrs, Ramey Smyth, Jeff Deeter, Ryan Redington and Jessica Klejka.

There has never been a Jr. Iditarod champion who has gone on to become an Iditarod champion.  If that were to happen in 2019, it would be up to Ramey Smyth, Jessica Klejka or Ryan Redington.  Smyth won as a rookie in ’92 and made it a duo in ’93.  Ryan Redington scored a pair of victories in ’99 and ’00. Jessica Klejka won her final Jr. Iditarod run in 2008 by a slim 2-second margin over Cain Carter.

This February will mark the 42nd running of the Jr. Iditarod.  Just like the Iditarod, the Jr. Iditarod began as a dream.  Joe Redington, Sr. dreamed of a long distance race across Alaska to commemorate the place of the sled dog in the history of Alaska and to keep the old mail trails alive.  Eric Beeman dreamed of a distance race for young mushers to help prepare them for the “Big Race”.  Beeman shared his dream with his young mushing friends while on winter camping trips with their dogs.  As the young mushers sat around the campfire listening to Eric’s idea of a junior length Iditarod, the concept grew in their minds and took on energy.

The folks working hard on the “Big Race,” had little if any time to lend their hand in organizing a junior race.  When the kids themselves brought Beeman’s dream to Joe, Sr., he like others was intrigued and supported the idea with encouragement.  The kids carried Joe’s words, “Go for it,” in their hearts as a blessing to continue the pursuit of their dream.  With the help of parents and mushing enthusiasts, Eric’s dream developed into a first class junior mushing event.

A volunteer for the Jr. Iditarod since before the very first race praises the 14 to 17 year old mushers, “The kids have astonished me year after year by their abilities and dedication to the race and their digs.  They demonstrate good judgment, maturity, resourcefulness, preparedness and excellent sportsmanship, to name only a few of their attributes.

Follow the Jr. Iditarod, meet the mushers, learn about the history, check the archives, enjoy photos and read Jr. Iditarod news at www.jriditarod.com.


This is true sportsmanship. No million dollar crybabies to contend with ....

Thanks for covering this event.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

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https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2019/02/22/for-four-time-iditarod-champ-lance-mackey-theres-only-one-thing-harder-than-racing-not-racing/

For four-time Iditarod champ Lance Mackey, there’s only one thing harder than racing: Not racing

For four-time Iditarod champ Lance Mackey, there’s only one thing harder than racing: Not racing

Mackey said finishing this year’s Iditarod, his first since disastrous races in 2015 and 2016, would give him closure: “I’m not good at accepting the fact that I can’t do this anymore.”

 

FOX — Lance Mackey picked at the lid of a coffee creamer at a truck stop north of Fairbanks on a recent afternoon. It took a few tries before his numb, swollen fingers could peel it back.

“My hands have never been this bad, and they’ve been bad,” Mackey said, sitting at a table with his girlfriend and their two young children. He looked his nine gnarled fingers. “I’m having a bad day.”

 
Lance Mackey holds his 2-year-old son Atigun during a stop for food at the Hilltop Truck Stop outside of Fairbanks. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Mackey, 48, couldn’t button his pants that morning. He couldn’t brush his hair. He struggled to put on his son’s socks. The 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was less than three weeks away, and Mackey — a four-time race champion and cancer survivor — said he was determined to get to the starting line. It will be his first Iditarod since 2016, when he dropped out of the race about halfway through.

Mackey said finishing this year’s Iditarod would give him closure and allow him to move on. He needs that, he said. But that morning he stood crying in the shower, frustrated by his hands.

“I’ve done some great things in this sport and people ask me what the hell I’m doing, what am I thinking, why would I want to do it again?” Mackey said. “It’s because I’m not good at accepting the fact that I can’t do this anymore. I’m not good at accepting the fact that the last time I tried I couldn’t finish, and I’m not a quitter.”

 

‘It’s addicting’

About a decade ago, Mackey dominated long-distance sled dog racing.

He won the Yukon Quest 1,000-mile International Sled Dog Race four years in a row, starting in 2005. He’s also the only musher to win the Iditarod four straight years. The Quest and the Iditarod happen about a month apart. In 2007, Mackey won both races back-to-back, a feat many thought impossible. Then he did it again in 2008.

Mackey gained fame and fans in Alaska and Outside. The Iditarod, he said, allowed him to become a “somebody” without changing who he is: an Alaskan who loves racing dogs, drives a pickup truck and wears his “cleanest pair of dirty pants” every day.

“It gives me a sense of pride to know that I can be somebody successful and yet still be me. I don’t have to wear a uniform. I don’t have to answer to somebody. I don’t have to cut my hair. I can still be me and be somebody,” Mackey said.

“It’s powerful, man. It’s addicting.”

As Mackey tells it, he was born into sled dog racing. His father, Dick, won the 1978 Iditarod by one second. Mackey’s half-brother, Rick, won the 1983 race.

 

Mackey entered his first Iditarod in 2001 and finished 36th.

Soon after, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. He underwent surgery and radiation. He dropped out of the 2002 Iditarod, but not before traveling about 350 miles down the trail with a feeding tube in his stomach. Five years later, he won the race.

“There’s a lot of people who were put on Earth to be doctors and lawyers and carpenters and what have you,” Mackey said. “I was put on earth to race, train and promote sled dogs, and at one time I was pretty good at this sh-t.”

But the cancer and its treatments left lasting impacts on Mackey’s body.

His salivary glands came out with surgery, so he has to constantly drink water to keep his throat moist. Nerve damage from surgery left him with limited mobility in his right arm. His hands are extra susceptible to cold due to radiation and Raynaud’s, which causes the blood vessels to narrow in his fingers in low temperatures. He had so much pain in his left index finger that he had it amputated. He’s also had a fingertip removed, and part of another one taken off.

“If I ever run across the guy that came up with the phrase ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ I’m going to punch him square in the face because that’s bullsh-t,” Mackey said.

Mackey’s hands have affected his Iditarod before.

During the 2015 race, his hands got too cold. He struggled with swollen, puffy fingers to put booties on his dogs, and ran the rest of the race with his younger brother, Jason, who helped with dog care. Mackey finished 43rd. He also had two dogs die on the Iditarod trail that year: Wyatt and Stiffy.

Mackey previously described 2015 as “probably the worst year and the worst race."

The next year, he had to turn his team around on the trail after his dogs got sick. He later dropped out of the race. He said he hasn’t been quite the same since.

 
Lance Mackey looks at his left hand, which has four fingers. (Marc Lester / ADN)

‘Emotional roller-coaster ride’

At the truck stop, Mackey held his 2-year-old son, Atigun, on his lap. His girlfriend, Jenne Smith, and their 8-month-old daughter, Lozen, sat across the square table. Snow fell outside.

“Look at your hairdo,” Mackey said to a smiling Lozen. “Oh, look at this baby.”

Mackey said he’s “ecstatic to be a daddy.” It has made him think more about taking care of his body.

“I can’t be beat up trying to raise two kids,” he said.

Until recently, Mackey said, he had been feeling good about the upcoming Iditarod. He had surgery on his left middle finger in November and it helped ease the pain. Then came the Eagle River Classic sprint dog races in early February. A mishap at the starting line sent Mackey down the trail face-first. He lost his gloves in the fall.

“I tore up my hands yet again,” Mackey said. “This time pretty bad.”

Lance Mackey gets dragged behind his sled during the first day of the Eagle River Classic sprint dog races on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at the Chugiak Dog Mushers Association Beach Lake Trails. (Star photo by Matt Tunseth)

Whenever things look good, he said, something seems to go wrong.

“It’s been a very hard, emotional roller-coaster ride,” he said.

By the time Mackey finished picking at his remaining toast and home fries last week, he wondered aloud if he was setting himself up for another Iditarod disappointment.

But reached at his home outside of Fairbanks a few days later, he said things were looking up once again. Smith has helped massage, wrap and soak his hands. He said he’s confident he’ll be able to take care of his dog team on the Iditarod trail, just not as quickly as he once could.

He also made alterations to his sled for the race.

Mackey said he’s planning to deploy what he calls a “covered-wagon sled.” He has a custom canvas top that will go over the back of his sled, zippered doors on both sides and a windshield. It also has a “sunroof” so he can stand up, he said. Inside, he’ll have two small heaters and he’s carrying a solar panel. The additions weigh about 15 pounds, he said.

“It’s bulky, but it’s necessary,” Mackey said. “With both heaters going you could probably break a sweat.”

It’s not the most aerodynamic sled, Mackey said. But he’s not in this year’s Iditarod to win.

Mark Nordman, the Iditarod’s race director, said he welcomed Mackey back to the race. Mackey’s entry was looked at by a review board, he said, just like the rest of the mushers.

“I think Lance is well-aware of his potential limitations,” Nordman said.

For now, Mackey said, he doesn’t know what’s next after the 2019 race, his 15th Iditarod start.

He said he knows he needs to finish the Iditarod — at least one more time. He needs that closure if he wants to move on. And on bad days, when his hands don’t work, that’s what he’s ready to do. On good days, it’s tough to imagine life without the sport and dogs he loves.

“I’m not old enough, I feel, to give up on something that I’m so passionate about. I’m fairly good at (it) at times, and I don’t know how to replace that with anything else,” he said. “There ain’t a damn thing on this planet that I’m as into as I am this.”

Mackey is one of 52 mushers signed up for the 2019 Iditarod. The ceremonial start is March 2 in Anchorage, with an official race start the next day in Willow.

 

Lance Mackey gives his 8-month-old daughter, Lozen, a kiss as the family heads home from the Hilltop Truck Stop near Fairbanks on February 12, 2019. With them are Mackey's partner, Jenne Smith, and their 2-year-old son, Atigun. (Marc Lester / ADN)

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Offline RE

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Iditarod 2019
« Reply #110 on: February 23, 2019, 05:03:39 AM »


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Published on the Doomstead Diner on February 24, 2019



Image result for race for mercy nome



The Great Race of Mercy, January 25, 1925



 



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We have been celebrating the 7th Anniversary of the Doonstead Diner Blog & Forum all through the month of February, including a celebration FEAST I have spent the last couple of weeks cooking up.  All the courses are finished (except for the leftovers) but we haven't yet "Plated Up" for the meal at the Diner Dinner Table.  My original plan was to do that today for Sunday Brunch, but a few things took longer than expected.  I will however do the final Plate Up here on the Blog and in the Forum before we move into March.



There is another significant event though just about to begin, the 2019 running of the Iditarod, "The Last Great Race on Earth".  It's the only sporting event I follow anymore, so once a year now I go "Sports Crazy", like a frozen north version of a Super Bowl fanatic.  I begin the coverage of the 2019 Iditarod here on the blog today, although I have made a few pre-race posts Inside the Diner already.



I will be getting full updates from the trail since I am a contributor and supporter of the Iditarod and Premium Member.  Drop in here on the Diner over the next 2 weeks to find out all there is to know about this year's running of the Iditarod.  Below, you will find my article marking the beginning of the 2018 Iditarod.  If you are unfamiliar with this race, it will give you a good understanding of it.



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Published on the Doomstead Diner on March 4, 2018






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It's Iditarod Time once again here on the Last Great Frontier!






The Iditarod for those who are not familiar with it is the Dog Sled Race that runs these days from the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley in Alaska up to Nome.  Total length of the course is around 1000 miles, a very long trek for both the Dogs and the Musher.  The race commemorates the Great Race for Mercy in the 1920's, when a Diptheria Epidemic hit Nome and they had to get serum up there as quick as they could.  They did not have the network of Bush Planes then that we have now, nor did they have Snow Machines.



The most famous dog that pulled this medicine to Nome was Balto, the last lead dog who pulled the sled for the last leg into Nome.  There is a statue of Balto in Central Park in NYC.  It is the Feature Photo for this article at the top of the page.



 




1925 serum run to Nome




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 



 




The 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the Great Race of Mercy, was a transport of diphtheria antitoxin by dog sled relay across the U.S. territory of Alaska by 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs 674 miles (1,085 km) in five and a half days, saving the small town of Nome and the surrounding communities from an incipient epidemic.



Both the mushers and their dogs were portrayed as heroes in the newly popular medium of radio, and received headline coverage in newspapers across the United States. Balto, the lead sled dog on the final stretch into Nome, became the most famous canine celebrity of the era after Rin Tin Tin, and his statue is a popular tourist attraction in both New York City's Central Park and downtown Anchorage, Alaska. The publicity also helped spur an inoculation campaign in the U.S. that dramatically reduced the threat of the disease.



The sled dog was the primary means of transportation and communication in subarctic communities around the world, and the race became both the last great hurrah and the most famous event in the history of mushing, before the first aircraft in the 1930s and then the snowmobile in the 1960s drove the dog sled almost into extinction. The resurgence of recreational mushing in Alaska since the 1970s is a direct result of the tremendous popularity of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which honors the history of dog mushing.





  •  



Location and geography



Nome lies approximately 2 degrees south of the Arctic Circle, and while greatly diminished from its peak of 20,000 during the gold rush days at the turn of the 20th century, it was still the largest town in northern Alaska in 1925, with 455 Alaska Natives and 975 settlers of European descent.[1] From November to July, the port on the southern shore of the Seward Peninsula of the Bering Sea was icebound and inaccessible by steamship.



The only link to the rest of the world during the winter was the Iditarod Trail, which ran 938 miles (1,510 km) from the port of Seward in the south, across several mountain ranges and the vast Alaska Interior before reaching Nome. The primary source of mail and needed supplies in 1925 was the dog sled, but within a decade, bush pilots would become the dominant method of transportation during the winter months.



Mail from outside the Alaska Territory was transported 420 miles (680 km) by train from the icefree port of Seward to Nenana, and then was transported the 674 miles (1,085 km) from Nenana to Nome by dog sled, which normally took 25 days.



Outbreak and call for help



In the winter of 1924–25, the only doctor in Nome, a town of less than 2,000 people, and the surrounding communities was Curtis Welch, who was supported by four nurses at the 25-bed Maynard Columbus Hospital.[2] Several months earlier,[3] Welch had placed an order for more diphtheria antitoxin after discovering that hospital's entire batch had expired. However, the shipment did not arrive before the port closed for the winter[4][3] and he would not be able to order more until spring.[5]



In December 1924, several days after the last ship left the port, Welch treated a few children for what he first diagnosed as sore throats or tonsillitis, initially dismissing diphtheria since it is extremely contagious and he would have expected to see the same symptoms in their family members or other cases around town.[4] In the next few weeks, as the number of tonsillitis cases grew and four children died whom he had not been able to autopsy, Welch became increasingly concerned about diphtheria.[6]



By mid-January 1925, Welch officially diagnosed the first case of diphtheria in a three-year old boy who died only two weeks after first becoming ill.[4] The following day, when a seven-year old girl presented with the same tell-tale symptoms of diphtheria, Welch attempted to administer some of the expired antitoxin to see if it might still have any effect, but the girl died a few hours later.[7] Realizing that an epidemic was imminent, that same evening, Welch called Mayor George Maynard to arrange an emergency town council meeting.[8] The council immediately implemented a quarantine. The following day, on January 22, 1925, Welch sent radio telegrams to all other major towns in Alaska alerting them of public health risk and he also sent one to the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C. asking for assistance.[4] His message to the Public Health Service said:




An epidemic of diphtheria is almost inevitable here. Stop. I am in urgent need of one million units of diphtheria antitoxin, stop, mail is only form of transportation. Stop. I have made application to Commissioner of Health of the Territories for antitoxin already. Stop. There are about 3000 (sic) white natives in the district.[4]




Despite the quarantine, there were over 20 confirmed cases of diphtheria and at least 50 more at risk by the end of January. Without antitoxin, it was expected that in the surrounding region's population of around 10,000 people, the mortality rate could be close to 100 percent.[4] A previous influenza pandemic of the so-called "Spanish flu" had hit the area in 1918 and 1919 wiped out about 50 percent of the native population of Nome, and 8 percent of the native population of Alaska. More than 1,000 people died in northwest Alaska, and double that across the state.[3] The majority were Alaska Natives who did not have resistance to either of these diseases.[9]



Problem solving



At the January 24 meeting of the board of health superintendent Mark Summers of the Hammon Consolidated Gold Fields proposed a dogsled relay, using two fast teams. One would start at Nenana and the other at Nome, and they would meet at Nulato. The trip from Nulato to Nome normally took 30 days, although the record was nine.[2] Welch calculated that the serum would only last six days under the brutal conditions of the trail.[2] Summers' employee, the Norwegian Leonhard Seppala, was chosen for the 630-mile (1,014 km) round trip from Nome to Nulato and back. He had previously made the run from Nome to Nulato in a record-breaking four days, won the All-Alaska Sweepstakes three times, and had become something of a legend for his athletic ability and rapport with his Siberian huskies. His lead dog, the 12-year-old Togo,[3] was equally famous for his leadership, intelligence, and ability to sense danger.



Mayor Maynard proposed flying the antitoxin by aircraft. In February 1924, the first winter aircraft flight in Alaska had been conducted between Fairbanks and McGrath by Carl Eielson, who flew a reliable De Havilland DH-4 issued by the U.S. Post Office on 8 experimental trips. The longest flight was only 260 miles (420 km), the worst conditions were −10 °F (−23 °C) which required so much winter clothing that the plane was almost unflyable, and the plane made several crash landings.



The only planes operating in Alaska in 1925 were three vintage Standard J biplanes belonging to Bennet Rodebaugh's Fairbanks Airplane company (later Wien Air Alaska) The aircraft were dismantled for the winter, had open cockpits, and had water-cooled engines that were unreliable in cold weather. Since both pilots were in the contiguous United States, Alaska Delegate Dan Sutherland attempted to get the authorization to use an inexperienced pilot, Roy Darling.



While potentially quicker, the board of health rejected the option and voted unanimously for the dogsled relay. Seppala was notified that evening and immediately started preparations for the trip.



The U.S. Public Health Service had located 1.1 million units of serum in West Coast hospitals which could be shipped to Seattle, and then transported to Alaska.[2] The Alameda would be the next ship north, and would not arrive in Seattle until January 31, and then would take another 6 to 7 days to arrive in Seward. On January 26, 300,000 forgotten units were discovered in Anchorage Railroad Hospital, when the chief of surgery, John Beeson, heard of the need.[2] The supply was wrapped in glass vials, then padded quilts, and finally a metallic cylinder weighing a little more than 20 pounds.[2][3] At Governor Scott Bone's order, it was packed and handed to conductor Frank Knight, who arrived in Nenana on January 27. While not sufficient to defeat the epidemic, the 300,000 units could hold it at bay until the larger shipment arrived.



The temperatures across the Interior were at 20-year lows due to a high pressure system from the Arctic, and in Fairbanks the temperature was −50 °F (−46 °C). A second system was burying the Panhandle, as 25 mph (40 km/h) winds swept snow into 10-foot (3.05 m) drifts. Travel by sea was hazardous, and across the Interior most forms of transportation shut down. In addition, there were limited hours of daylight to fly, due to the polar night.



While the first batch of serum was traveling to Nenana, Governor Bone gave final authorization to the dog relay, but ordered Edward Wetzler, the U.S. Post Office inspector, to arrange a relay of the best drivers and dogs across the Interior. The teams would travel day and night until they handed off the package to Seppala at Nulato.



The decision outraged William Fentress "Wrong Font" Thompson, publisher of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and aircraft advocate, who helped line up the pilot and plane. He used his paper to write scathing editorials.



Relay



The mail route from Nenana to Nome spanned 674 miles (1,085 km) in total. It crossed the barren Alaska Interior, following the Tanana River for 137 miles (220 km) to the village Tanana at the junction with the Yukon River, and then following the Yukon for 230 miles (370 km) to Kaltag. The route then passed west 90 miles (140 km) over the Kaltag Portage to Unalakleet on the shore of Norton Sound. The route then continued for 208 miles (335 km) northwest around the southern shore of the Seward Peninsula with no protection from gales and blizzards, including a 42 miles (68 km) stretch across the shifting ice of the Bering Sea.



Wetzler contacted Tom Parson, an agent of the Northern Commercial Company, which contracted to deliver mail between Fairbanks and Unalakleet. Telephone and telegrams turned the drivers back to their assigned roadhouses. The mail carriers held a revered position in the territory, and were the best dog mushers in Alaska. The majority of relay drivers across the Interior were native Athabaskans, direct descendants of the original dog mushers.



The first musher in the relay was "Wild Bill" Shannon, who was handed the 20 pounds (9.1 kg) package at the train station in Nenana on January 27 at 9:00 PM AKST by night. Despite a temperature of −50 °F (−46 °C), Shannon left immediately with his team of 11 inexperienced dogs, led by Blackie. The temperature began to drop, and the team was forced onto the colder ice of the river because the trail had been destroyed by horses.



Despite jogging alongside the sled to keep warm, Shannon developed hypothermia. He reached Minto at 3 AM, with parts of his face black from frostbite.[2] The temperature was −62 °F (−52 °C). After warming the serum by the fire and resting for four hours, Shannon dropped three dogs and left with the remaining 8. The three dogs died shortly after Shannon returned for them, and a fourth may have perished as well.




Image result for alcan highway As a Kollapsnik and adopted Alaskan, I love the Iditarod for a few reasons.  First off, the race is run through one of the last places left on the planet you could do such a thing.  There are no roads through this part of Alaska, although the Start Point has had to be moved persistently northward to avoid the suburban development up here and the road system that goes with that.  In fact, there is very little in terms of road development in Alaska as a whole, once you get off the main drag of the Parks & Glenn Highways, there is pretty much nothing.  Then to get in or out of Alaska, there is in fact only ONE road, the Al-Can.  It only got completely paved over in 1996, and to this day there are sections of it you really don't want to be driving on in bad weather, which is common.  So in the modern age, the communities that Alaska supports are either along the narrow corridor of the 2 highways, or they are supported by the air network of Bush Planes.  The main communities of mostly First Nations people are all along the coast, and they get their diesel to run their generators by sea, but this takes a while.  Back when the Great Race for Mercy occured in the 1920's, it would have taken many weeks to get the medicine to Nome by sea.  So they did it over land, with a chain of Mushers, who got it up there in about a week or so.  There were only 3 available planes that might have been able to make the trip at that time, and no experienced pilots to fly them.  So they went with the dogs and the traditional methods.  They made it, and Balto led them into town.



The next reason I love the Iditarod is because it is one of the last examples left of the cooperation between Homo Sap and the animals we have domesticated as helpers.  Those dogs were the ones that pulled that medicine, they were HEROES.  So were the Mushers who trained them and who drove them to the finish line, IN TIME.  No gas, no diesel, just Humans and Dogs working together over 1000 miles of the toughest terrain and the toughest weather nature can pitch out.



Image result for iditarod



I also love the Iditarod because besides Alaskans, Canadians, Ruskies, Finns, Swedes and Norwegians, basically nobody knows about it or follows it.  Even among the people who live in these places the fans are few.  Mushing is not a lucrative sporting pastime, although a few of the top mushers make enough from endorsements to feed their dogs and train year around.  For everyone below about the Top 10 Mushers, it's a labor of love and it costs them plenty every year to pursue this hobby.



In the past few years there has not been enough snow on the ground in the southern portion of the race to do the traditional start, now in in the Matanuska-Susitna River Valley rather than Seward where the original Great Race for Mercy began.  In fact they had to move the start from Wasilla where the HQ of the Iditarod is up to Willow, because there simply has been too much suburban development and road construction around Wasilla to have a good place to start from safe for the mushers and the dogs even in good snow years.  Lately though, even Willow didn't work, so they made a new route that started I think in Fairbanks.



Image result for iditarod The ceremonial start is done come hell or high water (or no snow) down in Anchorage the day before the real race begins.  For two years they shipped snow down from Fairbanks via the Alaska Railroad to lay down on MainStreet in Anchorage so they could run the Ceremonial Start.  Anchorage is the only place in Alaska you will get any media coverage whatsoever or enough spectators to come out and wave at the Mushers and make the event look semi-popular to anyone outside Alaska.  This year, the Ceremonial Start has enough local snow in Anchorage to run the start there without resorting to using fossil fuels to ship snow in, which is nice.  However, overall Alaska has had a very mild winter this year at least in terms of temperatures overall.  Hovering mostly in the 20sF.  However, particularly in the last couple of weeks leading up to the official Race Start today, we have had a few good snowfalls and the trail conditions are very good.



Image result for susan butcher sled dog racer Favorite for this year's race by far is Ken Anderson, but I am rooting for the Berington Twins, Kristy & Anna.  They run separate sleds of course, but I don't care which one wins.  Also it's nice when female mushers win, the race gets more publicity.  Susan Butcher was probably the most famous of the female mushers, and I followed her career even before I moved to Alaska.  Sadly, Susan died of Cancer a few years back.



For the Kollapsnik though, the most important thing about the Iditarod is that the people who run this race with their dogs represent the type of people who can SURVIVE collapse.  They are TOUGH & RESOURCEFUL people.  They aren't QUITTERS like the Nihilists and Misanthropes on Nature Bats Last, Our Finite World and r/collapse. They are athletic and in good physical condition.  They know the terrain, the weather and how to deal with it.  They do use modern industrial produced material now of course to make the sleds lighter and to insulate themselves better from the cold, but I would bet most of them could put together a sled from scratch and hunt down the Caribou, Moose and Bear and make their parkas from those materials.  Many of them live out in the Bush and do subsistence Hunting & Fishing, along with raising their dogs.  Susan Butcher was one like that.



I will follow the Iditarod again this year with great interest.  I will update Inside the Diner as I receive times in email for all the mushers I follow.



LONG LIVE THE IDITAROD!  THE LAST GREAT RACE ON EARTH!






 



 


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Offline RE

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🐕 Iditarod 2019: Anna Stephan wins the Jr. Iditarod
« Reply #111 on: February 26, 2019, 03:07:17 PM »
Main Event kicks off in 3 days!

I have BIG NEWZ also.  Coming in a separate post.

RE

Eye on the Trail: Jr. Iditarod Celebrates Success
Posted by Terrie Hanke in Jr. Iditarod News
Date: February 25, 2019 5:37 pm


Anna Stephan, winner of the 2019 Jr. Iditarod poses with her leaders Rocky and North at the finish line in Willow, Alaska. Sunday February 24, 2019
Photo by Jeff Schultz/ (C) 2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

While some might think that when the Finisher’s Banquet has concluded and the Red Lantern has been awarded, the race is over.  I suppose that “officially” speaking that may very well be true but in the case of the Jr. Iditarod, the Finisher’s Banquet and the awarding of the Red Lantern is the beginning for new and great mushing experiences.

Jr. Iditarod Honorary Musher, Barb Redington, recalls being on the trail with her two close friends during her participation in the inaugural Jr. Iditarod in 1978.  At the Finisher’s Banquet held in Willow last evening, Barb emphasized the importance of friendships established in mushing. Race Marshall, Cim Smyth, echoed Redington saying that nearly 30 years after his Jr. Iditarod races, many of his competitors are still close friends.  The friendships created in the Jr. Iditarod will last a lifetime.

The field of contestants for Jr. Iditarod XLII consisted of one veteran and six rookies.  It was an opportunity for all to learn from one another and from the adult volunteers who support the Jr. Iditarod.  Being camped in close proximity to each other, bedding, feeding, booting and packing routines could observed.  If you see something that looks like it would work better than what you’re doing, go ahead, “borrow and tweak!”

The Jr. mushers, parents, families, friends, volunteers, local mushers and mushing fans enjoyed the celebration of success held in the Willow Community Center.  Jr. Iditarod Board president, Greg Parvin was the Master of Ceremonies.  Julia Redington, a former Jr. musher, was the featured speaker.  Julie ran the race three times and received the humanitarian award in her final race of 1991.  Redington congratulated the kids on their excellent performance and being an engineer herself, encouraged the mushers to consider careers in engineering.

The Iditarod Trail Committee generously sponsors the Jr. Iditarod and provides funds for Scholarships and special awards.  These scholarships can be used towards higher education or special training. Scholarships are awarded to the top 5 finishers – 5th place receives $1500, 4th place receives $2000, 3rd place receives $2500, 2nd place receives $4000 and 1st place receives $6000.  In addition, the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award receives $2000, as does the winner of the Humanitarian Award.  Without Iditarod’s unwavering support, this race would not be possible.

As the banquet was winding down, Red Lantern Award winner, Johanna Badalich finished her race.  It’s really quite a thrill to see a musher’s headlamp bobbing across the frozen lake on the way to the finish line.  The banquet room emptied quickly with folks grabbing coats and heading out the door to the finish banner.  Johanna crossed the lake to loud cheers from family, fellow mushers and volunteers. Johanna’s inbound time was 13 hours 25 minutes and her outbound time was11 hours and 17 minutes.

Just prior to the evening banquet, Bjorn Keller brought his team down onto the lake then followed the well-travelled snowmachine trail across the lake to the finish.  Bjorn earned a hand crafted fur hat donated by Arctic Midnight Furs.  When interviewed during the awards ceremony, Bjorn said that he really enjoyed the trail especially because he thought it was going to be more difficult than it was.  He enjoyed the race and hopes to return next year. Keller’s run to Yentna Station took 10 hours 39 minutes.  His inbound time was 11 hours 17 minutes.

Cassidy Meyer was the third of a trio of mushers who crossed the lake to the finish line right around 16:00. Meyer comes from a mushing family in Fairbanks who rely on dogs for hunting and camping.  The Blue Harness Award went to Cassidy’s Sadie.  She plans to apply her scholarship money to veterinarian school.  Cassidy’s outbound run time was 9 hours 51 minutes.  She clocked a return time of 10 hours 11 minutes.

The meat and cheese of the sandwich like trio, was Ida Kohnert who placed 4th. Kohnert lives in Sweden and has been in the United States many times to handle for her father, Torsten, who’s completed the Yukon Quest six times.  Race officials presented Ida with the Humanitarian Award.  Mushers often say that receiving this award is more significant that winning the race.  “Receiving the award was a complete surprise.  I didn’t do anything special.  I just took care of my dogs the way I always do,” said Ida.  Ida’s outbound run took 10 hours 1 minute. Coming in, her run time was 9 hour 52 minutes.

Claiming third place was Grace Hill.  She came across the lake leading the trio of mushers.  It’s a photographer’s dream to have mushers finish within a few minutes of each other.  In her bio, Grace claims to have started mushing as a way to exercise her two St. Bernard puppies.  Her spirited team contained Alaskan Huskies; the St. Bernards were at home on the couch. Grace received the Sportsmanship Award. Race Marshal, Cim Smyth, presented the award with stories recalling his own Jr. Iditarod participation and how important mushing friendships are.  Grace was chosen for the award because she was constantly helping and encouraging her fellow competitors.  Grace had outbound and inbound runs of 9 hours 56 minutes and 9 hours 47 minutes respectively.

Anna Coke made the Willow finish line in second place.  If Anna began mushing for the adventure, she certainly had adventure in the Jr. Iditarod. If Anna likes being out of doors, she was out of doors from the beginning to the end of the Jr. Iditarod. If Anna likes meeting new people, she certainly had that opportunity in the Jr. Iditarod.  Mushing and the Jr. Iditarod seems to fit Anna like a glove.  Anna’s run time out to Yentna Station was 9 hours 21 minutes.  Her return time was 9 hours 36 minutes.

For Anna Stephan, her third Jr. Iditarod was a charm!  Anna crossed the finish line shortly before 13:00 with ten dogs.  Her run time out to Yentna Station was 8 hours 30 minutes.  Her inbound run was 8 hours 8 minutes.  Any number of factors could contribute to the faster inbound run – better trail, running earlier in the day with cooler temperatures, etc.  As the Jr. Iditarod Champion, Anna received a Jason and Melissa Stewart sled/sled bag combination.  Sleds crafted by the Stewarts are first class racing sleds. The sled bag was packed with nearly every piece of mushing equipment imaginable.  Anna also received a fur hat from Arctic Midnight Furs.  Even though this is Anna’s final Jr. Iditarod, she is well equipped for mushing in the future.

The list of Jr. Iditarod prize/auction supporters and sponsors for 2019 covers an entire page in the finisher’s banquet program.  Merchants of the Mat-Su valley and mushing enthusiasts support the Jr. Iditarod generously.  Each of the finishers went home with a 5-gallon bucket filled to the point of overflowing with gifts and mushing gear.  In addition, outside the buckets were coolers, sleeping bags, sleeping pads and other gear.

Mushers compare outbound times to inbound times looking for the “flattest” time.  In other words, the run out to Yentna Station and the run in from Yentna Station, being they were of comparable miles should be nearly equal. It’s a big challenge for these young mushers to hold their team back when the dogs are excited and raring to go. Running the first seventy-five miles too fast affects the performance of the dogs on the inbound run.  Over all the mushers did a good job or making the two run times come out close to equal or even a little faster on the inbound leg.

The seven teenage mushers did an outstanding job of racing and caring for their dogs.  Race veterinarian, Dr. Phil Meyer, praised all the contestants for their dog care.  Race Marshall Cim Smith complimented the racers on attention to detail in the checkpoint and along the trail in managing their run.  Ann Meyer praised the kids saying she was proud of everyone for finishing and persevering through the ever-present challenges of the trail.  Barb Redington noted that the mushers were blessed with nearly perfect weather, which always makes the race more enjoyable.


Eye on the Trail: Jr. Iditarod Photo Journal

Going with the idea that a picture is worth 1,000 words.  Enjoy the photos of the very capable Jr. Iditarod mushers as they depart Knik Lake for the 75 mile run to the half-way checkpoint at Yentna Station Roadhouse.

Johanna Badalich Departs First From Knik Lake

 

Ida Kohnert’s dogs are Dressed for Success

 

Anna Coke, “I love adventure!”

 

Anna Stephan, Third Year Jr. Iditarod Veteran

 

Bjorn Keller began Riding on a Dog Sled at 6 Weeks Old!

 

Grace Hill Talks it Over With Her Leaders

 

Cassidy Meyer from Fairbanks

 

Grace Hill on Willow Lake

 

Cassidy Meyer on Willow Lake

 

Ida Kohnert on Willow Lake

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Offline RE

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🐕 Iditarod 2019 Update: RE is going to the Musher's Banquet!
« Reply #112 on: February 26, 2019, 04:36:00 PM »
...and I have a DATE also!   :o

I am treating my Cripple Helper to the Banquet.  She is an outdoorsy type and wants to go also.  I couldn't go without her anyhow, out of the question by myself.  She will be working as my Photographer's Assistant, she will be my hands on the shutter and eye on the viewfinder if it's not something I can set up for on a Tripod.

I will hopefully get some Interviews with my favorite Mushers, Martin Buser ("the Old Man", 5 time Winner), Joar Leifseth Ulsom ("the Norwegian", last year's Champ) & Anna & Kristy Berrington ("The Twins").

This was a Bucket List item for me.  I went once two years after I first got here, before I became a Cripple when I had a couple of my Gymmie's dads who took me out on the sled.  I haven't been back since, it's expensive.  But I can't do the Start even with my Cripple Helper to assist, and besides since I am doing Food Reviews now it's appropriate that way too.  So I am going one more time now.

Conditions and weather look very good.  Should be a Great Race.  Fitting for the Last Great Race on Earth.  :icon_sunny:

RE
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 04:38:30 PM by RE »
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Offline Surly1

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Re: 🐕 Iditarod 2019 Update: RE is going to the Musher's Banquet!
« Reply #113 on: February 26, 2019, 05:10:01 PM »
...and I have a DATE also!   :o

I am treating my Cripple Helper to the Banquet.  She is an outdoorsy type and wants to go also.  I couldn't go without her anyhow, out of the question by myself.  She will be working as my Photographer's Assistant, she will be my hands on the shutter and eye on the viewfinder if it's not something I can set up for on a Tripod.

Well done, you old fart. This is great news.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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🐕 Iditarod mushers share what they pack for a 1,000-mile journey by dog sled
« Reply #114 on: February 27, 2019, 03:26:20 AM »
I am just about all there with my gear for the Musher's Banquet on Thursday.  :icon_sunny:  Cameras all charged up, audio recorder with extra Batts, tripods assembled and organized.  I am bringing the full set.  I hope CH is up to what I ask of her, so far she has been a real trooper on all levels.

Fitting that the Banquet is on the 28th, the SAME night I am holding the Virtual FEAST for the Diner 7th Anniversary here in cyberspace.  Synchronicity.

RE

https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2019/02/26/iditarod-mushers-share-what-they-pack-for-a-1000-mile-journey-by-dog-sled/

Iditarod
Iditarod mushers share what they pack for a 1,000-mile journey by dog sled

    pencil Author: Marc Lester
    , Tegan Hanlon
    clock Updated: 4 hours ago calendar Published 1 day ago


Kristin Bacon holds her sled dog Zumi at her Bacon's Acres Kennel in Big Lake on February 25, 2019. Bacon is preparing to start her third Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Kristin Bacon holds her sled dog Zumi at her Bacon's Acres Kennel in Big Lake on February 25, 2019. Bacon is preparing to start her third Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Marc Lester / ADN)

BIG LAKE — With trans-Alaska racing just days away, two Big Lake mushers turned their attention to packing for the journey Monday. Kristin Bacon will start her third Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and Martin Buser is beginning his 36th, but both took care not to forget anything important.

“The next few days, I’ll pack and unpack the sled many, many times, just to make sure that everything is in there,” Buser said.
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Buser, a four-time race champion, said he relies on packing lists that are pretty refined from his decades of driving dogs. But it improves each year, he said. Lately, his sled bag has included a 2.5-pound pop-up tent, a portable place to rest right next to his sled dogs that sets up in seconds.

“In my old age, I like my privacy a little more than I used to,” said Buser, 60.

Indoor space at the race checkpoints can get crowded with resting mushers, he said, and his portable shelter adequately blocks a light breeze or rain. That makes it worth bringing despite the extra weight.

“I just drop two and a half pounds of my flab, and this allows me to carry this tent,” he said at his Happy Trails Kennel on Monday afternoon.

Buser also puts a unique twist on one of the items that race officials require Iditarod mushers to carry: snowshoes. Buser’s snowshoes are handcrafted in a traditional Athabaskan style by artist George Albert in Ruby, he said.

“I have those proudly displayed at the back of my sled,” Buser said.
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A few miles away, Kristin Bacon organized her belongings on the floor of her cabin. That included stacks of blankets and neck buffs for her dog team, a kit for making repairs to her sled, and a clock and a timer to wake herself from naps. And she keeps a lightweight set of spare boots in case her main ones get wet.

“It’s a fine balance between over-packing and forgetting something,” Bacon said.

Bacon, 45, has also refined her kit for this year’s Iditarod. She’s bringing super glue in case her fingers crack from the cold. And she’s also bringing a satellite-connected device for messaging and GPS information, though she has yet to learn how to use it, she said. Race rules allow mushers to carry and use “two-way communication” devices, including cellphones, satellite phones and satellite tracking devices.

With race time fast approaching, Bacon said she feels less anxious than she did in 2016 or 2017.

“I’d like to think I have this fairly under control,” said Bacon, who is also a pediatric physical therapist.

Kristin Bacon organizes items that will be packed in her sled bag on the floor of her cabin in Big Lake on February 25, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Buser said packing isn’t the final task. He said Monday afternoon that he has two more training runs to do and some important decisions to make.

“I have it narrowed down to 18 dogs. I haven’t decided who gets to go,” he said.

When the race finally gets underway, Buser said it will feel liberating from the many concerns and decisions that fill the rest of his year.

“For the nine or 10 days, I have no wife, I have no kids, I have no other dogs, I have no businesses,” he said. “I literally only have what’s in front of me.”

[Watch: Iditarod musher Kristin Bacon talks dog teams and sled steering]
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Offline RE

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🐕 Iditarod 2019: Musher's Banquet Quick Report
« Reply #115 on: March 01, 2019, 02:15:39 AM »
click the pic to enlarge
RE KH Banquet 1
RE KH Banquet 1

We didn't get back from the Banquet until 10PM, and I was WIPED!  I got up at 9AM the last time, so was up for basically 13 consecutive hours without a nap, a modern day record for me.  I crashed as soon as KH walked out the door.  So, no usual bevy of Collapse Newz Articles from me tonight.  I got up to piss here as usual, and I am going back to bed after posting this brief update.

The Great Musher's Banquet 2019 Bucket List Adventure was an unqualified SUCCESS on just about every level.  :icon_sunny:  We got a lot of great Pics & Vids of the event, and I got an Interview with one of my favorite Musher Stars.  The food at the Banquet itself was pretty good as Banquet foods that are serving like 500 people go.  Although I have never been to a Banquet THAT big before.  KH said she had been, Military Banquets from her years growing up as a military brat and Wrestling Banquets in CA when she lived there.  However, that is a sub-story of its own to retell.

I will be writing a full article for this Sunday Brunch about the Banquet.  Also on Sunday @ 2PM Alaska time in Willow, the official Start of the Iditarod goes off.  Snow conditions and weather conditions appear to be GREAT at the moment.  A new record for time may be set.  A very strong field of Mushers this year including many past Champions, although a smaller field than any race since about 1997.  Various reasons for that I will probably cover in the article.

LONG LIVE THE IDITAROD!  THE LAST GREAT RACE ON EARTH!




RE                                                                               
« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 02:47:24 AM by RE »
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Re: 🐕 The Iditarod: The Ultimate test of the Homo Sap-Canine Partnership
« Reply #116 on: March 01, 2019, 03:06:32 AM »
Looks like you two had a phenomenally stellar  :icon_sunny: evening. Does my heart good to see you out & about RE.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline RE

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https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2019/03/01/iditarod-is-ready-to-roll-with-smaller-dog-teams-a-smaller-field-of-mushers-and-a-whole-lotta-snow/#_



Iditarod

Iditarod is ready to roll with smaller dog teams, a smaller field of mushers, and a whole lot of snow

  •  Author: Beth Bragg
    | Sports
  •  Updated: 5 hours ago
  •  Published 15 hours ago

Aliy Zirkle acknowledges cheers as she winds through parties situated along the course at 16th Avenue during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race ceremonial start on Saturday, March 4, 2017, in Anchorage. (Erik Hill / ADN archive)

In a year’s time, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has gone from down-and-out to upward-and-onward.

Conversations about dark clouds hanging over the race have given way to talk of plentiful snow as the 47th annual race to Nome approaches.

Snowtime begins Saturday at 10 a.m. when the first sled leaves the start line at Fourth Avenue and D Street for the ceremonial start. Mushers will leave in two-minute intervals and travel a somewhat leisurely 11 miles through Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip.

Things get serious Sunday afternoon in Willow, where the race clock begins ticking when the first racer leaves Willow Lake at 2 p.m. From there it’s about 1,000 mile of remote and often unforgiving terrain to the finish line in Nome.

Not all of the troubles that plague the race are gone. Prize money for the sport’s most prestigious event is worse than stagnant – the 1992 winner earned about $1,000 more than Joar Leifseth Ulsom did last year. The field of 52 is the smallest since 1989. PETA is still protesting.

But since last year, the Iditarod has a new-look board of directors and a conflict-of-interest policy that prohibits board members from being, or being related to, active mushers. It made peace with Dallas Seavey, a four-time champ absolved of any involvement in a 2017 dog-doping scandal.

 

And it made some significant rule changes in the interest of dog safety and dog care. Among them: Team sizes have been reduced from a maximum of 16 dogs to a maximum of 14, and a musher is out of the race if a dog dies from anything other than unforeseeable, external forces.

“I think the race has turned a corner,” interim CEO Chas St. George said this week. “Every one of these mushers ... realizes they’re going to have to leave (the race) if one of their teammates dies. Every one of them signed off on kennel standards that are in place now.”

There is so much snow that officials won’t let mushers park their trucks on frozen Willow Lake for Sunday’s restart – officials fear the additional weight of trucks could compromise the safety of the ice.

(Why this matters to you: There will be no parking for the general public at the Willow Community Center. Officials urge spectators to take shuttles from Anchorage, Wasilla, Houston and Talkeetna.)

 

Though the field of mushers is small, it is mighty. Nine of last year’s top 10 finishers are back. Five past champions are racing, including defending champion Leifseth Ulsom, who sees no shortage of contenders to his throne. Everyone who placed in last year’s top 10 is a threat and so are some others, he said.

“It seems like a lot of people have been doing the job, and they’re going to go for it," he said.

As is Leifseth Ulsom. Though he had not decided on his entire lineup by Thursday afternoon, he said he’s likely to take 11 or 12 dogs from his championship team. Among them: leaders Olive and Russeren.

“I won’t have any dogs on my team under 3 years old, so that feels pretty good,” he said.

 
Veteran musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom of Mo i Rana, Norway mushes over Tudor Road Saturday, March 3, 2018 during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
 
Joar Leifseth Ulsom drives his dog team during the Restart of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow on Sunday, March 4, 2018. (Bill Roth / ADN)

The only top-10 musher not back is fourth-place Ray Redington Jr. The biggest absentee is Seavey, who for the second straight year chose to race in Norway’s Finnmarkslopet instead of his sport’s most famous race.

Mitch Seavey, a three-time winner and Dallas’ dad, will try to keep the Seavey name near the top of the leaderboard. He’s 59 and looks leaner than ever after losing 12 pounds, and he’s racing to win.

“That’s the only reason to do it,” said Seavey, whose last win came in 2017 at age 57. “I’m not doing it to see the scenery again.”

Mitch Seavey comes into the finish chute to win the 2017 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (Bob Hallinen / ADN archive)

Nic Petit, last year’s runner-up, hopes to see less scenery than he did a year ago, when a wrong turn amid blowing snow robbed him of the lead less than 200 miles from Nome. The detour added an extra eight miles to his race and ultimately cost him the victory.

Asked which musher is his biggest concern is going into the race, Petit didn’t hesitate.

 

“Myself,” he said. “Wrong turns.”

Petit said he’ll run several of the same dogs he did last year, although one of his favorites – lead-dog Libby – is staying home.

“She sleeps on my bed, so I’m going to miss her,” Petit said. “... Libby is the leader who went the wrong way, so it’s probably not a bad thing (she’s staying home).”

Petit isn’t alone in putting a positive spin on things. The field of 52 is the smallest since 1989, when 49 mushers started the race, but St. George notes that it’s a quality field, and he’s right. Besides the five champions — Leifseth-Ulsom, Seavey and four-time winners Jeff King, Martin Buser and Lance Mackey — 13 of the top 15 finishers are left, and any of them could make a bid for victory.

Nicolas Petit took second place in the 2018 Iditarod. Photographed at Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla on February 27, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)

At age 60, Buser said a fifth win — which would match the record held by Rick Swenson — “is probably not the reality.” His biggest concern is to “not hit the snooze button.”

King, 63, intends to let his dogs — including six-time finisher Ebb, a male who will turn 8 this summer — dictate his race.

“We’ll be trying to find that magic pace and routine and look for the critical signs that the team is ready to put the pedal to the metal,” he said.

 

King has accumulated about $949,796 in prize-money over the years and a victory could make him the Iditarod’s first million-dollar man — provided first-place pays $50,204 this year. Last year Leifseth Ulsom won $50,612.

This year’s purse is $500,000, the same as last year, St. George said. Board president Mike Mills said it’s a priority to increase the purse, and mushers are likely to agree.

When Buser won in 1992, he earned $51,600 — $1,000 more than Leifseth Ulsom did last year.

“Enough said,” Buser said

The top 20 mushers earn prize money — it used to be the top 30 — and anyone who finishes gets $1,049. About 20 years ago the purse approached $1 million, but by 2010 it had shrunk so much that King donated $50,000 of his own money to bulk it up that year.

Mackey said the small field could be a reflection of the small purse.

“I find that there’s some people here that are going to be here no matter what. If we’re racing for a case of beer, we’re still going to sign up,” he said. "Other people are a little bit more conservative in the financial part of it maybe.

“... I’ve got 10 grand invested in this event. Just the race, from signing up and food drops. …To think that I’m going to make $1,049 potentially is hard to swallow. I’m not funded like I once was, so this 10 grand is out of my pocket. I paid the whole thing. I have sponsors like most of us do, but that doesn’t always mean it’s covering the expense. It might be goods and services. It’s still money, but it’s $4,000 just to sign up. That’s a lot.”

The purse depends on race revenues, which basically come from race sponsors. Animal-rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have long targeted Iditarod sponsors in the hope of persuading them to stop giving the race money.

For the second straight year, PETA is planning protests for the ceremonial start Saturday and the restart Sunday. It also bought anti-Iditarod ads on some People Mover buses.

“We’re just keeping the pressure on, reminding people that dogs aren’t snowmobiles, they’re individuals with wants and needs who don’t deserve to be run to death,” said Tricia Lebkuecher, a PETA campaigner from Nashville who will be here this weekend.

PETA recently took credit for Coca-Cola pulling sponsorship from the Iditarod, but St. George said that’s not true. Coca-Cola ended its sponsorship in 2015, he said, but since then the Odom Corporation, the Alaska distributor of Coke products, came on board.

That said, Mills said the race needs to build its financial stability. Longtime CEO Stan Hooley resigned last year and Mills said the board wants to hire a replacement equipped with digital and social media experience to help the race build and monetize its brand.

One of musher Matt Hall's dogs paws at him in this truck on February 27, 2019. (Marc Lester / ADN)

The Iditarod has a history of ups and downs, Mackey said, and he thinks the race will continue to survive.

“My opinion is the roots in this state and the history of our sport are here to stay," he said. "The Iditarod I don’t believe is going anywhere. It’s on a down for whatever reasons. I don’t for a minute think that it’s going to stay this way.

“I think our roots are deep and very strong here.”

The Daily News’ Tegan Hanlon and Marc Lester contributed.

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Offline RE

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🐕 Iditarod 2019 LIVE: Watch the Ceremonial Start this morning!
« Reply #118 on: March 02, 2019, 11:28:50 AM »
Currently broadcasting on https://iditarod.com/ !


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🐕 The Iditarod (The Last Great Race on Earth): 2018 Recap
« Reply #119 on: March 02, 2019, 03:30:03 PM »
T-24 hours until the Official Start in Willow!

I'm gonna be glued to the GPS & Checkpoint Cams 24/7 for the next 8-11 Days.  The Mushers & Dogs will probably get more sleep than I do.  ::)  Super Bowl fanatics have it EZ.  They only gotta last a few hours following the big game and drinking beer.  I gotta manage this for over a WEEK!

Go Marty!  Go Joar!  Go Kristy & Anna!

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