The Iditarod Ceremonial Start is just that: ceremonial. You will see some dogs on our rosters for today that will not be leaving for the 1000 mile adventure on Monday but, perhaps for sentimental reasons or because we left some of the dogs at home that don’t travel well, we wanted them on the team for this celebration.

Mushers take just 12 dogs and, as long as they are one of the 40 dogs that have been through the pre-rate vet checks, ECGs and blood tests any dog can run in the ceremonial start.

The route starts on 4th Avenue and winds through the streets of downtown Anchorage finishing at the Campbell Airstrip some 11 miles away. The streets are lined with thousands of supporters and we always enjoy the day.

At 11.10am Allen will lead out with Quito and Lydia, Olivia and Chemo, Chena and Ernie, Bean and Hotshot, Five and Cayenne, Scooby and Ginger. Allen’s Iditarider is Jaci Owen from Washington and Ruth will be riding the tag sled.

Quito and Lydia lead the Black Team on the Ceremonial run

Following just ten minutes behind, Aliy will lead out with Nacho and Junior, Kodiak and Izzy, Dutch and Schmoe, Spark and Amber, Iron and Champ, Violet and Daisy. Aliy’s Iditarider is Dianne Cox from California. Moira will be riding the tag sled.

Nacho and Junior lead the Red Team on the Ceremonial run

Click here for more information about the Ceremonial Start athletes.

We will get pictures and video to share with you as soon as we can.

12 Responses

  • How special to have Quito, Olivia and Nacho running with their pups to start the race.

  • Waahoo getting real now! Go team Gooooooo!

    By the way, I saw a mention yesterday of how Aliy's Mom & Dad made someone feel like part of the family. I met them last year and I must echo the comment. Great folks.

  • Ditto with A-town's Becky comment….so cool to see Quito, Nacho and Olivia running with their awesome offspring!!! Fingers crossed for a good live feed with no technical issues so we all can watch SPK Red and Black leave the chute! Also always nice to see the young ones getting into some of the Iditarod festivities!! And of course a shout out to our boy Chemo….you go buddy….show em how its done!

  • Have a great time, the Door County Sled Dogs are cheering you and your pups on to a successful journey to Nome. We are a non profit rescue and education dog team.

  • How very, very sweet and endearing to read Spanish litter mates in lead – but wouldn't you know that my live feed of the ceremonial start would go south just as Allen should be coming up to the chute.


  • Thanks so much for the start timeline for Allen & Aliy. I thought I might miss it because of other commitments I had today, but tuned into the live coverage just two musher's prior to Allen. Very cool seeing Quito, Nacho &a Olivia. Running with their offspring.

  • So pleased for Quito! Five and Bean have a lot to learn…..have a great time today, rest well tomorrow and then Monday…GOOOOO!! It was fun watching the live feed. I think I spied Moira filming on the way down the street! Can't wait to see that video. Blessings for a safe, great race! Love from Erie!

  • How great for Quito and Nacho to lead teams out one more time. Thanks so, so much SPK. You are the best.

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