The Ceremonial Start is always so much fun. There were thousands and thousands of people lining the trail from 4th Avenue all the way to Campbell Airstrip. People were having a great time cheering, waving, BBQing, dancing… you name it.

We did have a very very close encounter with a moose along the trail and some of the smaller spectators got a little close but everyone got the finish line in one piece! Moira was pleased to stick all the corners!

Thanks to everyone who helped us today. Linda brought us breakfast burritos, Barbara took pictures, Will and Issac from Verizon helped both teams up to the start chute; Lindsey from Matson gave out fun Lead On merchandise and jumped onto the line when we needed an extra hand, Karolyn and Nicolle saw a gap and filled it, Bob scooped poop and provided the crew with yummy pizza (those two things are NOT related to each other); and Rodney provided some ballast. You all helped out the crew so much as the bib numbers were so close together it was potentially a handlers logistical nightmare.

Here is a pictorial summary of the day for the Red Team.

Champ and Dutch

Siblings Junior and Kodiak

Handsome Nacho; Spark and Aliy

With kennel sponsor Bob Huston; Under the start banner

Stopping at the Matson family picnic; selfie fun

16 Responses

  • I love every part of this post…it looks like this was the most fun ceremonial start EVER!! Sounds like you all had plenty of help from family, sponsors and friends and that helped the stress level I'm sure!! Favorite picture….the selfie fun pic!! Oh, and well done Moira on those corners…I know it can be kinda rough on the ole tag sled….sounds like you handled it like a pro!!

    Enjoy your day off tomorrow… up and eat well…for soon those two essentials will be a bit scarce!!

  • Great job on the photos along the trail. Especially good selfie you took Moira! Except next time get the Iditarider to lean out! Glad to know you got past the moose. Diane and I are sending big hugs and lots of love for a fantastic race. We will be following and refreshing the tracker often! Julie & Diane from Seattle

  • Wonderful pictures especially handsome Nacho and that terrific dual selfie (that must take practice)!!!

    And it was amazing to watch the Ceremonial Start live online, too…knowing we'd get some more full-route snaps from SP Kennel!!!

    Gorgeous pix – WOOF WOOF WOOF!!! Thanks so much!!!


  • By the way, that is a marvelous visual joke – the picture with the "20 miles and hour" sign and lots of curves ahead too (butnot the Happy River Steps this year).

    Love it!


  • Great photos! Love Champ, love the selfie pic and love Dutch's Yoda-like years. I have a hard time figuring out who the dogs are with the widows peak markings so remembering the Yoda ears might help me. As always thanks for the pics. Can't wait to see the video recording behind Aliy's sled.

  • Excellent! To all those who took pictures, including Moira, thank you for including us so completely.
    Everyone in front, on, and behind, look fantastic and ready for what every comes your way.

  • A moose encounter already? Ok, let's hope that's one and done! Thanks for the great photos….love the selfie! We'll be watching and cheering!

  • Love all the pictures, great job Moira. The selfie. Hope you made back home to get some good rest in your own beds for 2 night. Watching all the way.

  • Great pictures! Love all of them and looks like a lot of fun! Good luck in the race, hope to see you Win!! Go Aliy!!

  • I agree with Cindy that Champ was especially winsome and Dutch has the serious-can-do-look of a leader. For a minute it looked like he was channeling Scout. Is he taking over Scout's job of being the party police?

  • Okay as much as l love watching the fun of the ceremonial start l can't wait to the real adventure begins . Refreash finger @ the ready woof woof to the β€οΈπŸ–€πŸΎπŸΎπŸ˜˜. Denali 🐾🐾& Joanne πŸ‡¦πŸ‡Ί

  • Thanks so much for taking the time to post all of these pics! Love them all! Can't wait to see how the race unfolds! Hope you will hear us cheering from CA!

  • Thanks for the great photos! Love the picture with Spark.
    Good Luck Red & Black Teams!! Looking forward to the restart!

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