ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – This live blog is where the Alaska’s News Source team will post breaking updates, race standings and more throughout the 50th annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
March 5 – 10:45 a.m.
Half of the Iditarod mushers are on the trail
Riley Dyche of Fairbanks, Lev Shvarts of Willow, Ryan Redington of Knik, Richie Diehl of Aniak and rookie KattiJo Deeter of Fairbanks have left.
Reigning Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey has left 4th Avenue and is now on the Iditarod trail. Seavey is a five-time winner in search of a his record-setting sixth title, breaking his tie with fellow five-time champ Rick Swenson.
March 5 – 10:30 a.m.
The 50th Iditarod has begun
Ramey Smith from Willow, Anna Berington from Knik, Matthew Failor from Willow, Mats Pettersson from Kiruna Sweden, and 2018 Iditarod champion Joar Leifseth Ulson from Mo i Rana Norway have all started their Iditarod.
The list of all mushers competing in this year’s Iditarod can be found on their website.
Rookie Hanna Lyrek of Alta Norway has now begun her first Iditarod, joining fellow rookie Sean Williams — the first musher to leave the start — on the trail. Fellow rookie Eric Kelly of Knik followed Lyrek.
March 5 – 10:15 a.m.
The 50th Iditarod has begun
Mushers began leaving downtown headed for Campbell Airstrip at 10 a.m. So far, the first six mushers have departed from the start line on Fourth Avenue.
Mushers that are already on the trail are Sean Williams from Chugiak, Jeff King from Denali Park, Michelle Phillips from Tagish, Yukon Territories, Paige Drobny from Cantwell, Martin Massicotte from St-Tite, Quebec, and Jessie Holmes from Brushkana.
Mushers will continue to get on the trail until noon.
March 5 – 9:15 a.m.
Pre-start festivities underway
Dog teams and mushers are doing last-minute checks and preparations as they head out on the roads in downtown Anchorage this morning. From there, teams will take a route through the University campus and Campbell Creek tract. Heavy snow is also continuing to fall, adding an extra element to the day.
March 5 – 8:51 a.m.
Iditarod weather report from meteorologist Joe Bartosik
Obviously, snow has started in the Anchorage metro area with big, wet flakes. Snow will continue at this rate intensity probably through the start time and into the early afternoon. We will easily see a couple of inches of fresh snow on the ground by race time at 10 a.m. If it continues snowing, which I think we will, 5 inches by mid-afternoon clearly not out of the question.
March 5 – 8:18 a.m.
Anchorage prepares for return of Iditarod ceremonial start
Final preparations continued in downtown Anchorage on Friday for the Iditarod’s ceremonial start.
The signs are in place, along with the fences where fans are expected to line 4th Avenue to watch the 49 sled dog teams pass by them on their way from downtown Anchorage to the Campbell Airstrip. Snow for sled dog teams to race on is the only thing missing, but that’s expected to be in place by the time the festivities start Saturday morning.
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