The ceremonial start was yesterday (Saturday, March 4, 2006) and the official race begins today (Sunday, March 5, 2006) in Willow, Alaska at 2pm AKST. After that the mushers and dogs will set off on a sometimes dangerous, but always thrilling, race through the untamed Alaskan wilderness.
For more information and up to date coverage the official website is: http://www.iditarod.com
and I will be posting my pictures from the ceremonial start in Anchorage, AK for the next couple of days...
here's a preview:
btw, Teachers: there are some really neat lessons and activities that you can do with your class on the website. Just an FYI!
Toni, do these dogs have as much fun as they look like they're having in the picture?
They have such fun it's hilarious.... they HATE having to wait their turn to GO, and heaven forbid you leave them off the team! They were not only bred to do this, they just LOVE to do it...
Originally Posted by Mathman
it's hilarious some of the wildness that comes out of the dogs at the starting gate... they yip, and bark, and whine, and howl until they're finally "let loose"...
These rock, Toni!
Are the all white dogs a different breed from the grey and black ones?
I don't think so... sled dogs are normally a combination of several "snow dogs" Malmutes and Huskeys are the two main types, and I wouldn't be surprised if sled dogs are really a combination of the two...
they're just classified as "sled dogs" on the Iditarod website, but I'll keep looking to see what I can find.
You can meet Martin Buser's dogs on his official site: http://www.buserdog.com/buserdog/athlet.shtml While not the winningest musher he IS known as the BEST when it comes to how he treats his team. When they had the huge set of fires up by his house he would not leave until he got all of his dogs (he has over 80) out... he only lost one female dog out of the lot, and it was really tough for him because he felt like he failed her (she panicked as he unteathered her and ran off into the woods. They don't know what really happened to her). He's not "Alaskan Grown" but he's still considered one of Alaska's own... we love him!
Other names that are fairly well known are Jeff King (I still have to put his photos up, he was on his cell phone when I took his photo lol), Doug Swingly, and Mitch Seavey all of whom have won several times... and DeeDee Jonrowe, who's never won but she keeps plugging lol
Susan Butcher has also recently come back into the news, she was one of the women's heroes in the early 90s as she has won the Iditarod 4 times. She is fighting breast cancer. She rocks!