The 2009 Iditarod gets underway this Saturday, with the ceremonial start in Anchorage, followed by the proper start on Sunday. This year, the 1100+ mile event, dubbed “The Last Great Race” will take the Southern Route, used in odd years, and will pit the worlds best mushers against one another to see who can reach Nome the fastest.
As the race nears, some stories have begun to crop up ahead of the dog sleds taking off this weekend. Outside Online has two nice articles today, the first of which is an interview with Sebastian Schnuelle, who just won the Yukon Quest, in record time no less,and is now gearing up to have a go at the Iditarod as well. The German talks about his background in the sport, what drew him to sled dogs, and what a typical day is like out on the trail during one of these events. It’s a good interview and it’s nice to see Sebastian getting some recognition in the press.
Of course, only one one man has ever won both the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod in the same year, and that man is Lance Mackey, who will be going for his third straight win when the race gets underway on Saturday. Outside Online has a profile on Mackey as well, calling him “The Other Lance”. The article is a bit outdated, as Mackey didn’t compete in this year’s Yukon Quest, but he is gearing up to defend his Iditarod title against a very strong field of competitors. Lance hopes to join the ranks of the Iditarod legends by winning his third straight, putting him in some very heady company.
I always look forward to this classic race each year. It’s generally a lot of fun to follow online and watch events unfold. This year should be no different. Can’t wait for it to start!