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> Iditarod, Race to start March 4 at 2:00pm
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stevenpd 
Posted: 26-Feb-2007, 09:19 PM
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QUOTE
WASILLA, ALASKA – (February 23, 2007) – The Iditarod Trail Committee Board of

Directors announced today that The 2007 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Restart, scheduled for

March 4, will again begin at 2 pm, and will be staged in Willow, on Willow Lake.


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Swanny 
Posted: 28-Feb-2007, 10:41 AM
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Whew, life has been hectic around the Stardancer kennel lately, and even more so around the SP kennel.

Allen Moore and Aliy Zirkle are on their way to Anchorage for all the various meetings and events surrounding the start of the Iditarod. When I saw Allen on Monday his mind was already somewhere around McGrath or maybe even Ruby. My lady and I will be heading out first thing Friday morning to join them in the big city and make preparations for the ceremonial start on Saturday and the real deal on Sunday.

Everyone is hedging their bets this year, simply because there are so many awesome teams and mushers in the Iditarod with the blood, training, skills and abilities to win.

It has been bitter cold in the Interior, and the forecast is calling for more. That's a good thing for the teams coming from here as the dogs and mushers are accustomed to it and won't need to work so hard to cope as will teams from warmer climates. Even if the weather moderates a bit over next week it will still be considerably colder than the past few years.

This is definitely going to be a race worth following.

Swanny


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stevenpd 
Posted: 28-Feb-2007, 09:21 PM
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dribble.gif

Looking forward to the race!
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gettin-away 
Posted: 01-Mar-2007, 06:42 PM
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If you keep an eye on this McGrath Airport Webcam you might catch some of the mushers. The camera is relocated during the race to try and catch some of the action.

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stevenpd 
Posted: 01-Mar-2007, 08:40 PM
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Thanks! gettin-away.
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gettin-away 
Posted: 01-Mar-2007, 10:21 PM
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Hope you're able to catch some of the race!! smile.gif
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stevenpd 
Posted: 02-Mar-2007, 01:26 AM
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Sure am gonna' try!
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stevenpd 
Posted: 02-Mar-2007, 01:34 PM
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Ceremonial Race start tomorrow with the official start on the 4th.

Good luck to all!

QUOTE
MUSHER LINE UP FOR IDITAROD XXXV

The following is the 2007 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Line up

1.Susan Butcher (honorary musher)
2. Perry Solmonson, Plain, Wash.
3. Jessie Royer, Fairbanks, AK
4. Cim Smyth, Big Lake, AK
5. Ramy Brooks, Healy, Ak
6. Sebastian Schnuelle, Whitehorse, Yukon
7. Zack Steer, Sheep Mountain, AK
8. Ramey Smyth, Houston, AK
9. Jim Lanier, Chugiak, AK
10. Paul Gebhardt, Kasilof, AK
11. Jason Barron, Lincoln, Mont.
12. Hans Gatt, Atlin, British Columbia
13. Lance Mackey, Kasilof, AK
14. Randy Cummins, Big Lake, AK
15. Ben Stamm, Argyle, Wis.
16. Aliy Zirkle, Two Rivers, AK
17. Gerry Willomitzer, Whitehorse, Yukon*
18. Ray Redington, Jr., Two Rivers, AK
19. Martin Buser, Big Lake, AK
20. Mitch Seavey, Seward, AK
21. Eric Rogers, Eagle River, AK
22. Gerald Sousa, Talkeetna, AK
23. Bruce Linton, Morrisville, Vt.*
24. Jon Korta, Galena, AK*
25. Richard Hum, Talkeetna, AK*
26. Scott Smith, Willow,AK
27. DeeDee Jonrowe, Willow,AK
28. Doug Swingley, Lincoln, Mont.
29. Dan Huttunen, Wasilla, AK*
30. Ed Iten, Kotzebue, AK
31. Jeff King, Denali, AK
32. Dave Tresino, Talkeetna, AK
33. Tim Osmar, Ninilchik, AK
34. Silvia Willis, Deshka River, AK*
35. Melanie Gould, Talkeetna, AK
36. Karen Ramstead, Perryvale, Alberta
37. Bill Pinkham, Glenwood Springs, Colo.
38. Ryan Redington, Wasilla, AK
39. Hugh Neff, Skagway
40. Scott White, Snohomish, Wash.*
41. Ellen Halverson, Wasilla, AK*
42. Sigrid Ekran, Kotzebue/Norway*
43. Mike Williams, Akiak, AK
44. Rick Swenson, Two Rivers, AK
45. Cindy Gallea, Seeley Lake, Mont.
46. Jacques Philip, Nenana,AK
47. Aaron Burmeister, Nome/Nenana, AK
48. John Baker, Kotzebue, AK
49. Louis Nelson, Sr., Kotzebue, AK
50. Robert Sorlie, Hurdal, Norway
51. Andrew Angstman, Bethel, AK*
52. Matt Rossi, Herbster, Wis.*
53. Butch Austin, Fruita, Colo.*
54. Ken Anderson, Fairbanks, AK
55. Matt Calore, Two Rivers, AK*
56. Lachlan Clarke, Buena Vista, Colo.*
57. Thomas Lesatz, Two Rivers, AK*
58. Tom Roig, Shreve, Ohio*
59. Heather Siirtola, Talkeetna, AK*
60. Dan Carter, Jackson, Wyo.*
61. Sonny Linder, Two Rivers, AK
62. Deborah Molburg-Bicknell, Auke Bay,AK*
63. Rick Casillo, Willow, AK
64. Robert Bundtzen, Anchorage
65. Jeff Holt, North Pole, AK
66. Dallas Seavey, Seward, AK
67. Matt Anderson, Pinedale, Wyo.*
68. Hernan Maquieira, Ushuaia, Argentina*
69. Kevin Morlock, Walhalla, Mich.*
70. Bruce Milne, Two Rivers, AK*
71. Allen Moore, Two Rivers, AK*
72. Matt Hayashida, Willow, AK
73. Frank Sihler, Wasilla, AK
74. Bryan Mills, Merango, Wisc.
75. Tollef Monson, Kotzebue,AK
76. Jeff Wells, Fairbanks, AK*
77. Aleksandar Nikolich, Belgrade, Serbia*
78. Kelly Williams, Two Rivers, AK
79. Clint Warnke, Two Rivers, AK
80. Linwood Fiedler, Willow, AK
81. Donald Smidt, Van Dyne, Wis.*
82. G.B. Jones, Knik, AK
83. Jeremy Keller, McCarthy, AK*

*  denotes rookie musher

The 2007 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will begin at 10 am on Saturday (March 3rd) 2007 on 4th Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska.
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aklassie 
Posted: 02-Mar-2007, 11:37 PM
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Don't normally post in here but Iditarod caught my eye. Keep us posted on how the race is going. I enjoyed keeping up on the races when I live in Fairbanks. There are things I miss about Alaska, dogsled racing being one of them. Don't miss the cold temps ya'll are having right now though. Good luck to all!!!


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stevenpd 
Posted: 04-Mar-2007, 03:04 PM
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QUOTE
Saturday, March 03, 2007


The Ceremonial Start


Readers may have already checked out our complete video coverage of the Iditarod 2007 Ceremonial Start.  The Ceremonial Start is a hold over from the early days of Iditarod when mushers actually departed Anchorage for Nome.  Presently, the practical considerations of new roads, trails, make it impossible.  The Solution?  Preserve a tradition and stage a 11 mile Ceremonial run through downtown Anchorage for the fans, and then reassemble for the real start in Willow, Alaska on Sunday.


Therefore, appreciate that the Ceremonial start is not timed, and other than the fact that an appearance is mandatory, Saturday is a day for the mushers to mix with crowds of fans and give a select group of Iditariders a mushing experience.


From our vantage point on the broadcast podium today, however, a few catchy innovations and precautions caught my eye.  Every musher I saw go out of the chute today had booties on their dogs----probably not a necessity for such a short run on loose snow, but a precaution to avoid any risk at all of damaging the paws of their huskies.


Interstingly, sled dogs are able to pull harder when the tug line of the harness comes off the hips of the sled dogs.  But over the last several years, innovators like Jeff King, John Baker, and many others have experimented with harness design so that at times the dogs are pulling off the shoulders.  Although the dogs cannot pull as hard, the theory goes that they are actually more comfortable and less likely to develop chronic injuries----the same thing we see in many sports with the same motion or type of gear being used.  As a result, I saw many twelve dog teams (that’s the number required on Saturday) with shoulder tug attachments.  These teams were still creating a rooster tail of snow out of the start chute pulling two sleds and three or four passengers, but they were controllable.


Changing the angle of harness attachment is a nifty innovation which mushers will use in different terrains and situations to control power.  On Sunday, of course, top mushers will use the 16 dog complement allowed by the rules, lighter sleds, and more than sufficient power from the 850 lbs of biomass in front the sled.


Long time fans will have appreciated the Memorial staged this morning for Susan Butcher.  Great memory for Alaska’s most famous athlete and public figure.


Info heard at Headquarters:


Horrific winds could develop Monday and Tuesday.  Will it stop the dogs?  No, but it will wreak havoc with the airplane logistics of our film crew.


Trail condition forecast remains unchanged for tomorrow Sunday, with hard and fast trail reported.
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stevenpd 
Posted: 05-Mar-2007, 07:07 PM
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Does anyone know what happened to Doug Swingley? Sounds like he took a bad spill.
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gettin-away 
Posted: 05-Mar-2007, 07:33 PM
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Details are sketchy but check here

Anchorage Daily News

And here

Swingley scratches from race

gettin-away
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stevenpd 
Posted: 05-Mar-2007, 08:40 PM
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Thanks Gary. It'll be interesting to see how everyone else fairs in this particular stretch.
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gettin-away 
Posted: 05-Mar-2007, 09:08 PM
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From what I've read this could just be the beginning of some rough trails ahead.

I know I'll tied to the computer over the next week.
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Swanny 
Posted: 06-Mar-2007, 10:41 AM
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Hi All.

Sorry to be so notable by my absence. I got home from Willow very late Sunday nite, and spent virtually all of yesterday doing errands so my friend could return to her home Outside and I can return to work in a couple of hours.

The ceremonial start is, of course, a staged event for the fans and spectators. Handling dogs there consists mostly of calming overly stressed dogs from overly curious bystanders, and answering the same questions over and over and over. It's much like being a crew member in an "open pit" at a NASCAR race or something.

I was amazed at what some people consider "appropriate headwear" when visiting animals that rarely see more than a dozen different people at their home kennels. For instance, the tall guy in the viking hat with long horns painted red, or the kid in the "court jester" hat with mutli-colored tails. The poor dogs have enough trouble relating to humans, let alone humans that look like mutant beasts of science fiction.

The restart involves standing for several hours on lake ice while waiting for a huge flurry of work to get the team ready and on the trail. The bystanders are kept well away by a system of snow fencing and very large and aggressive security guards. If you don't have a visible official ID (the proper armband) you are firmly and not so politely escorted elsewhere.

Fortunately for us, our mushers (Aliy Zirkle and her husband Allen Moore) started well apart from each other, so we had plenty of time to go from one team to the other. At the restart Aliy was parked side by side with Lance Mackey and Jason Baron and all three camps were very mellow compared to many. Allen was parked next to Dallas Seavey (Mitch's son) who is running the "puppy team", and a team of Europeans (Italy comes to mind) who smiled a lot and said very little.

One of the finest sounds I ever heard was the countdown to launching Allen's team, so we could then load gear, load dogs, and get back on the road and away from the crowds.

All available trail reports are similar, hard, fast trails with very little snow. Yesterday brought an additional factor, very high winds that are just brutal on mushers and dogs. We drove through some of those winds as we crossed the Alaska Range on our way home, and it was nasty enough to blow my dog truck around like a feather. Of course we were lucky, we were inside the cab with the heater blowing full-force and it was still having trouble keeping the fog off the windshield. It's rare that I don't wish I was on the trail during winter, but Sunday night I wouldn't have gone outside to save my arse if it wasn't absolutely necessary.

Details are still sketchy, but apparently Doug Swingley took a tumbe on that hard, icy trail somewhere outside of Rainy Pass. Word is that he may have fractured some ribs and dislocated a thumb. Prior to the train wreck he wasn't particularly happy with his team's performance. I suspect the wind was just sucking the energy and strength right out of them.

Thus far, Aliy has dropped one dog and is running right up in the front of the pack, as is Lance Mackey. At the last update she was still in Rohn, but the Iditarod officials have been a bit slow to update the leaderboard on their website, so we can't read much into that.

Allen is currently listed in 49th place, which means his team of mostly young dogs (the "puppies" range in age from 18 to 24 months) has passed 22 teams already. Not bad for a bunch of unruly little adolescents, eh?

There are a LOT of really good dogs running in this race. I don't think I've ever seen so many well conditioned dogs in one spot before. It truly is AWESOME!!!!

Last night I drove home from the airport under a crystal clear sky with northern lights dancing about and the mercury hovering down around 20 below. As a gust of wind rattled the truck my thoughts went out to the trail where tiny mushers, dwarfed by the cold and lonely terrain, were going from dog to dog, offering pets here, a massage there, perhaps changing booties or tending to any of a multitude of small aches and pains. I just have to wish each and every one of them "Godspeed".

Swanny
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