Today was the ceremonial start of the Iditarod sled dog race in downtown Anchorage! DH and I went to enjoy part of the start, and to take in a little more Fur Rondy wackiness.
The ceremonial start goes right through Anchorage, starting in the heart of downtown and going more or less diagonally across the city. Then the mushers and their dogs get back in their trucks and head out to Willow, which is a bit north of us, for the real actual start of the race to Nome.
DH and I go up into a parking garage a block away from the start line to be able to get a good view – there is a pretty huge crowd! People come from all over the world for this – we met a girl from Germany and a couple people from Sweden downtown today, just in line for lunch. I did get a good video clip of one team coming down the road, but it doesn’t look like I can upload it here. Anyway!
The teams start out one at a time, with a couple minutes between starts. There are always a couple of teams waiting in line, jumping and barking like crazy to GO! If you could hear the noise that was happening when I took this picture, you would be deaf right now.
It was a beautiful day to be out and about – very bright and sunny, and a pretty reasonable 25 F or so. So tomorrow the race will start, and it will be nothing but Iditarod 24/7 up here, at least for the 11/2 – 2 weeks it takes the mushers and teams to run the route. I’m a little less invested this year – my favorite musher, DeeDee Jonrowe, is not in this year, and in fact has probably retired. There are quite a few other plucky ladies to root for, and I certainly do, but she was pretty inspiring. Still in all, it is a pretty amazing feat, this race they run! For anyone interested in keeping track, the link at the top is to the Iditarod home page, and it is pretty informative. Also, our local newpaper, Anchorage Daily News, and our local TV news, KTUU or KTVA are also pretty good for following along!
Tomorrow – back to knitting! 🙂