The first musher, Aaron Peck, and his dogs are now leaving Deshka Landing for the start of the Last Great Trail Race, the 49th running of the Iditarod!
This will be Aliy Zirkle’s last race as she heads into retirement following 20 years in the sport.
Many other races have been cancelled during this year of COVID19 but the Iditarod has made some significant changes to allow it to carry on. The route has been made into a circle, beginning and ending in Deshka Landing rather than riding all the way to Nome, and many of the checkpoints have been set up away from town centers to keep the mushers isolated from native communities. In addition, no spectators are allowed.
The grandaddy of all dog sled races begins this Sunday! The 49th Iditarod race includes 13 women and 34 men, made up of 12 rookies and 35 veterans. Four former Iditarod champions are back in the race and four countries are represented in the field. Five competing mushers have participated in 18 or more Iditarod races.
Here’s what you need to know about the build-up to the big race:
***TONIGHT*** (Thursday, March 4, 2021) Pre-Race Show at 9 pm Eastern. Broadcast free on Iditarod.com
Friday: Rookie Musher Panel at 8 pm Eastern, Women in Mushing Panel at 9 pm Eastern. Both require a subscription to Insider Ultimate PLUS on Iditarod.com Continue reading Everything Iditarod→
Thomas Waerner remains in the lead, leaving Koyuk @ 13:35.
Jessie Royer left Koyuk @ 17:35
Aaron Burmeister left @ 17:42
Mitch Seavey left @ 18:10
Wade Marrs has slipped up to 5th place, arriving in Koyuk @ 15:12, one minute before Brent Sass. They are both still there.
Perhaps I should have posted this earlier, so the checkpoints I am posting daily would make more sense. As you can see, the mushers are following the northern route this year (they alternate between northern and southern), and the top mushers have reached the shores of the Bering Sea at Unalakleet.