I'm so excited! In case you don't know what the Iditarod is I'll tell you in brief - it is an annual 1150 mile dogsled race in Alaska. It starts the first weekend in March and runs about 10 to 17 days. This year is the 38th year for the race. You can learn more about the history of the Iditarod at the official Iditarod website. There are a few mushers that have caught my eye this year. I'll tell you more about them in a minute.
I first learned about the Iditarod two years ago and wrote Following the Iditarod, in which I shared how I learned about it, and Still Enjoying the Iditarod, in which I shared some things I found interesting in learning about the Iditarod. I now that I was working on posts about last years race but I don't think I ever actually posted them.
I love following this race! There are always so many great stories that come out of it. There's also a lot of opportunities for fun learning around the Iditarod. Walter McKenzie has developed The EIditarod Project to help educators make the most of learning opportunities. One of the things that Walter suggests is to get to know the mushers and pick one in particular to claim as your musher as you follow the race. I can never manage to narrow it down to just one musher to watch.
Every year I like to keep track of the Canadians that are involved in the race. This year there are 8 Canadians, 2 of which are rookies and 2 of which are females. Clicking on the names will bring you to the biographies. Last year's second place winner, Sebastian Schnuelle (39) is one of the Canadians involved this year. The Canadian females include veteran Karen Ramstead (45) and rookie Michelle Phillips. The other rookie is Hank Debruin (47) and he's joined by veterans Hans Gatt (51), Gerry Willomitzer (39), Warren Palfrey (34), and Ross Adam (57).
I also like to follow mushers that have a homeschooling connection. In an acceptance speach for an award a couple of years ago veteran Ramey Smyth (34) mentioned that he was homeschooled by his mom, who was also a musher. I assume his brother, veteran Cim Smyth (33), was also homeschooled. Veteran Mitch Seavey (49) and his wife Janine homeschooled their children. Dallas Seavey (22) is one of their children and is classed as a veteran because this is not his first time running the Iditarod.
Another musher that catches my eye each year is female veteran DeeDee Jonrowe (56). It just amazes me that she's still participating. I think she is one brave, tough lady.
This year there's another musher that has caught my eye - rookie Newton Marshall (26) is from Jamaica!
I'm really looking foward to following the race over the next couple of weeks and see how these mushers do.