Allen and the Black Team will wear bib number 36 and Aliy and the Red Team will wear bib 41 down the Iditarod Trail!

During the day, our Ceremonial Start athletes (plus Rambler) and Chris, Ruth and Mark journeyed down the Parks Highway to Anchorage. It was a picture postcard day!

Then, this evening at the Dena’ina Centre in Anchorage the human crew enjoyed the Mushers’ Banquet and Bib Draw. It’s amazing how many familiar faces you see amongst a room of 5,000 people! Thank you to all our Team Members, Dog Fans and supporters that stopped by to say hello, it was lovely to meet you all.

Banquet program; Aliy with Kenny Gill, Matson Vice President – Alaska

Hobo Jim kicked the evening off with his familiar tunes before Mike Williams opened the banquet with a special and particularly relevant invocation. The UAA Glee Club sang National Anthem and the Alaska Flag song and gave a great performance despite some microphone issues. The Athabaskan Fiddlers Assoc accompanied our dinner before we were introduced to honoured guests and several of the major race sponsors. After that we got to hear from every musher as they drew their bibs and thanked everyone who has got them to the starting line. Just getting to that point is a major achievement so it is nice everyone gets to acknowledge the help they have received.

Aliy, Allen and Ashley; Chris, Ruth and Mark

Aliy is interviewed by Greg Heister for the Insider; interview for “The Big Alaska Show”

Allen draws #36

Allen thanked our major sponsors and handling crew plus everyone in the room that makes the Iditarod what it is!

Aliy draws #41

Aliy thanked everyone who sent her love, light and prayers after what happened last year but assured us all she was READY! That drew a huge cheer from the crowd. She also thanked her dogs for agreeing to do this thing one more time. Thanks also to major sponsors Matson who have been with SPK “through thick and thin”, Verizon and Eagle Pack.

10 Responses

  • What a special evening Aily and Allen! Thank you for being such and amazing couple. It is a true honor to sponsor such a personable pair. I watched as you both tirelessly met with, had photos and signed autograph after autograph for young and old. Thank you for representing mushers with such grace.

    Bill Hozey – Verizon

  • And I spy MIckey in one of those photos!! All right, SPK, you've got your numbers. Let's GO!! Will be thinking of you for the next several days. All the best from us here in Erie!


    Play that number – 41!!!

    Or how about…36!!!

    Matson blue dog tags (or close to it?) this year!!!



  • Wow….what a whirlwind of activity it has been in Achorage! That Parks Highway is a gorgeous ride indeed! We watched the Banquet live stream on Facebook and enjoyed all the commentaries of the Mushers as they drew their Bib numbers. Aliy is certainly ready to race with a smile on her face!! Trail conditions sound like its gonna be deep snow out there, but that's no problem for SPK…bring it on!!

  • Wishing both teams a safe, happy, and "uneventful" run to Nome. Love and hugs from TN. We'll be riding with you in spirit.

    Ann and Tom

  • Oh! I was surprised at the 41 number in the draw. Fascinating to see how this new crop of SPK dogs will step up into both teams this year.

    I will be watching from the Tanana River. I am so grateful to have been a part of this team for so many years – sponsorship has filled dark winters and been a part of my spring celebration (March is spring, despite temperatures and snow cover.

  • What fantastic ambassadors Allen & Aliy are for the mushing sport. You never turn anyone away & give of yourselves tirelessly. I am blessed to be connected to SPK through sponsorship and friendship. 36 & 41 go SPK! Have fantastic, joy filed, safe, & swift races. What wonderful dogs to choose from to carry you down the trail.

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