The Iditarod Trail Committee announced late Friday night that a well-known name in the mushing community would not be hitting the trail for this year’s race. Without further explanation, the ITC made the announcement of 35-year-old Brent Sass’ voluntary withdrawal from the 2017 lineup on Facebook. Sass scratched from the 2017 Yukon Quest in Central on Feb. 12, according to the race’s website. “Sass requested assistance via his Spot Tracker approximately 16 miles outside of Central, Alaska due to concern over the safety of two dogs, Caputo and Healy, on his team,” Yukon Quest race officials wrote in a statement. “The two….Continue Reading

You’re going on a 1,000 mile trip from Fairbanks to Nome. What do you bring? For mushers preparing for the Iditarod sled dog race, it’s about the essentials. At Air Land Transport, bags were being filled, hauled, stacked and readied for travel. Provisions would then be sent out, waiting for the mushers as they arrive at checkpoints all across the trail. But while the dogs’ diet is always a topic, this food drop is also about what the mushers will need for sustenance. Air Force Lt. Colonel Roger Lee is running his first Iditarod. “Mostly just a selection of different….Continue Reading

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Preparations for the world’s most famous sled dog race are underway in Fairbanks now that the race’s official start has been moved from the Anchorage area. Iditarod officials announced the switch last week due to low snow conditions in the Alaska Range. The Fairbanks North Star Borough has been working with several agencies to coordinate the event, which is expected to draw thousands, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner said. The race starts March 6 on the Chena River and has been pushed back an hour to 11 a.m. Explore Fairbanks spokeswoman Amy Geiger says the river ice was….Continue Reading

The Alaskan Host Bed and Breakfast in Willow is booked up for Iditarod weekend. “For this kind of event, we usually have bed rolls on the floor. We usually have dog mushers here,” owner Jim Huston said Friday. But he expects to see all the reservations cancelled now that the restart is officially moving to Fairbanks. “It can easily make a thousand dollars in the weekend,” he said. Huston is also the Willow Chamber of Commerce president. He said they’ve come to count on the cash and the fun atmosphere the race brings to the community. “Throughout the whole area, it’s….Continue Reading

Citing a lack of snow and poor trail conditions through the Alaska Range, the Iditarod Trail Committee unanimously decided to move this year’s official restart to Fairbanks. (Route seen in blue on the map above.) Per Iditarod rules, mushers traditionally take the southern route (seen in orange above) on odd numbered years. This is only the third time in the race’s history that it has moved the restart to Fairbanks. This year’s route is the same trail mushers ran in 2015. Click on the communities above to see photos and learn more about the Iditarod checkpoints. _____________________________ Checkpoint Distance to Checkpoint Cumulative….Continue Reading

Behind closed doors the Iditarod’s board of directors made what race marshall Mark Nordman described as a “hard decision” in a “somber” room. Iditarod 2017’s restart is moving to Fairbanks for the third time in the race’s history. Citing poor snow conditions in the Rainy Pass and Dalzell Gorge area, the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) announced the possibility of a restart move to Fairbanks last week. Starting their executive session at 9:20 a.m., ITC’s board of directors spent more than an hour deliberating the move. Nordman said they discussed those affected by such a big decision, including the dogs, the….Continue Reading

It’s not a question of what, but where — I’m referring to straw. It was yet another sign that the Iditarod is fast approaching. At Air Land Transport in Anchorage on Thursday, volunteers prepared 1,635 bales of straw bound for checkpoints across this year’s race. But where will that straw be headed? With questions still lingering on whether the re-start will be in Willow or Fairbanks due to questionable conditions at the Dalzell Gorge and Rainy Pass, only the shipments for checkpoints between Kaltag and Nome will be out on time. But, everything will be in it’s proper place for the….Continue Reading

Here we go again. For the second time in three years, the famed Iditarod sled dog race to Nome could officially begin in Fairbanks. In a press release sent out late-Wednesday afternoon, the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) outlined what could ail this year’s race — a lack of snow on a notoriously difficult stretch of trail. While Anchorage, the home of the ceremonial start slated for March 4, and Willow, the traditional site of the restart, are expected to be fine in terms of snow cover, the problem is further down the trail toward Rainy Pass and the Dalzell Gorge, ITC….Continue Reading

A 27-year-old man has been sentenced after pleading guilty to charges connected with a snowmobile attack on two mushers competing in Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports Arnold Demoski of Nulato was sentenced Monday to six months, most of which has already been served. The sentencing comes after Demoski pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor charges of assault, reckless endangerment and driving under the influence. Demoski had been accused of driving a snowmobile at four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King, as well as Aliy Zirkle, on March 12 near Nulato. One of….Continue Reading