Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Still Enjoying the Iditarod

I can't believe I didn't know about it before this year. It is so much fun and so interesting. It's amazing to read about all the different elements that these racers have to battle and figure out. And it's so much fun to watch as different ones take the lead at different times. I still haven't spent much time learning the history behind the race yet because there's so much interesting stuff to learn about this present race.

Today I enjoyed learning more about the racers, called mushers. There were 114 mushers that signed up for the race but only 96 started it. Of the 96 that started, 22 were females. Most of the mushers are from Alaska and other parts of the US, but there are 6 Canadians, 2 Germans, 2 Norwegians, 2 Belgians, 1 Italian, 1 Englishman (who is actually an English lady) and 1 Frenchman. I found it interesting to note that some of the mushers are racing against relatives - Blake and Jennifer Freking are husband and wife, Cim and Ramey Smyth, and Lance and Jason Mackey, and Darin and Robert Nelson are brothers. Darin's and Robert's father Louis is also racing. Martin and John Busers are another set of father-son rivals.

Another interesting couple of mushers is Rachel Sedoris and Joe Runyan. Rachel is legally blind and veteran Joe Runyan is running the race as her guide. He drives his team ahead of her and by two-way radio lets her know of any hazards, such as hanging branches, etc., that she might not see.

There have already been stories of broken sleds, run away dogs, spills, etc. Lots of excitement.

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