A total of 21 mushers have signed up for the 51st running of the historic Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, including defending champion Brent Sass, who did so remotely, as the lone competitor to have previously won the 1,000-mile trek to Nome.
Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach said in an email that race officials are looking into a new stipulation regarding keeping track of sled dogs, and reviewing the rule book when it comes to sheltering dogs during the race.
Michelle Phillips, Mille Porsild and Riley Dyche were all found to have broken part of rule 37 in the Iditarod Rule book stating that “Dogs may not be brought into shelters except for race veterinarians’ medical examination or treatment.”
Hugh Neff was hoping to make it to Nome in his first Iditarod appearance since 2018, but scratched in Ruby on Friday after advancing from the 49th position in the race to 2nd, but says he was forced out of the race. Iditarod Race Marshal Mark Nordman disagrees with Neff’s assessment of the events that led to his scratch, and says that the dogs are his top concern.
Musher Richie Diehl’s dog Jimbo has been found safe in Anchorage. On Thursday, Jimbo was reported as missing after he escaped Iditarod handlers in the returned dog area at the Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage.
In Thursday afternoon’s Trail Report, we hear from Race Marshal Mark Nordman as he reflects on his passion for the Iditarod and support of Alaska’s communities. Matt Failor talks about the race he’s running, and the first musher scratches from the race.
Mushers, dogs and many spectators descended upon the Iditarod checkpoint in Rainy Pass as the 50th running of the race plugs along and teams look to push toward the front of the pack in their journeys to Nome.
Matt Paviligois an Emergency Room nurse at Alaska Regional Hospital, but he is also a rookie musher running in the 50th Iditarod with a special mission. To honor his mother by spreading her ashes near the finish line.