Shaynee Traska has what she needs as she prepares for the biggest challenge of her athletic career. The Yukon Quest 300 veteran from Two Rivers wants to play with the big dogs. Traska is the first person to sign up for next year’s Iditarod.
“Very surprised, being a big Iditarod sign up day, I thought there’d be a ton of people out here waiting,” Traska told KTVA Sports, as she will also hit the trail in her first Iditarod
“This is almost been a 20 year of mine, when I was 9 or 10, my aunt and uncle came to Alaska on vacation, they met Joe Redington, came home to Michigan to tell me about the race and sled dogs, told my parents, ‘I’m going to do that someday,'” said Traska.
“It’s kind of the big kickoff for 2018,” said Iditarod Race Director Mark Nordman, as he and the rest of the staff are still finishing up work from last year’s race. The 2017 Iditarod ended as Mitch Seavey captured his third title last March– and in record time.
Organizers say they will close out the 2017 budget year with about $3.6 million in revenue, down $270,000 dollars from the previous. Good news though, expenses dropped $183,000 over the same time period.
“We’re tightening up everywhere we can, we all know the economy in Alaska is on the up and downside, so we can keep growing, and ensure this race happens,” said Nordman.
“I didn’t know if I was supposed to sign it in front of you,” Traska told volunteers, as she found no one in front of her as Traska is the first person entered in next year’s Iditarod.
The Ceremonial Start takes place in downtown Anchorage, March 3, while the Restart happens March 4 in Willow.