Race Day- A Spectator Sport

Race day is here and Talia is readying the Team for the day ahead. For a rookie musher, race day can be pretty nerve wracking, but with a couple of races under her belt in the last month, Talia will have a pretty good idea of what needs to happen.

Dog sled mushing has come such a long way “down the trail” for spectators and fans. In the early days the Teams took to the trail and fans went back to headquarters to wait for news in whatever way it came. In the earliest days ham radio operators would pass checkpoint times back to “HQ”. Then fax became the mode of communication. Headquarters had a leaderboard and if you wanted to keep up with what was happening, you had to be there to look at the times and keep track in your head who was leading, how much rest they had, and who you thought was the true leader (You can’t SORT a handwritten leaderboard!)

It was great fun because there was always someone there to talk with and eat plenty of the food and coffee that was always part of headquarters.

Nowadays mushing has become an “armchair” spectator sport and we miss out on those fun headquarter times, but what we get is almost a “horserace” sport where we can see in real time who is leading and what is happening. The Tracker has really brought dog sled mushing into its own and makes it very exciting.

Click here to launch the tracker!

The Dream Begins! Lucky Number 6

Thousands of miles, endless days of training, and many sleeps of dreams culminated this evening with Talia reaching into the traditional coffee can and drawing her starting position for the 2018 Jr. Iditarod. Team Talia will leave the chute wearing bib number 6.

Thanks to the help of so many people, businesses, and family, Talia is ready to finally head down the trail with her Team for the 150 mile race into the wilderness of Alaska!

Twelve Teams will start tomorrow in the 2018 Jr. Iditarod at 10:00am sharp.

Tonight the mushers, families, and supporters met at the Iditarod Trail Headquarters for the drawing and a closed door session to go over the rules of the trail. 10 gals and two young men sat and listened to the rules of the trail, trail conditions and several other important bits of information. After the drawing was completed, families were kindly escorted to the door as organizers met with the mushers on their own to give them the rundown of the race ahead.

As much as Mom’s and Dad’s would like, they are not allowed to help out a bit during the race. After the Teams hit the trail they are completely on their own and will prove themselves as they contend with the challenge of the race.

Stay tuned as we put more content out for you from the starting line tomorrow morning. Here are photos from the Musher Drawing:

Willow 100 Jr. Start today at 7:00 p.m. Central Time

The mass start at the Willow Community Center on the lake is at seven central time. Talia will be wearing a satellite tracker but I don’t know if there’s an uplink that we can follow yet. Waiting on the answer. Either way, Talia and Team are ready to go. Here’s a screen shot of the Telegram article from Tuesday. Thank you to all the sponsors who helped make this possible. Please mention Talia to the sponsors when you visit their business.

 

Willow 300 Volunteer

          Talia is doing her part helping the mushing community in Alaska by manning a trail/highway intersection near Trapper Creek. This is a photo of Legendary Lanier (Jim Lanier) safely getting across the roadway. Jim will be mushing the Iditarod in March.

Bark and Buddies Boundless Blue Moon Energy

Talia and team made it to Homer with Bark in the lead dog position. From the looks of Tim’s video the team is in very good shape. Reports from the trail indicate that the terrain is a lot like the Beargrease Trail with tons of steep up and down grades. There is a four hour rest in Homer and then the sprint back to the finish. It will be a frosty, full moon, fantastic, frolic through the Kenai Mountain range. So, as Jeanette Coleman on Talia’s Team FB page said, “Blue Moon luck!”

This is Bark, the lead dog that took the team through the Kenai Mountains. There was one other dog in lead, but I couldn’t I.D. that particular hero from the video. Will give co-lead credit soon.