The crowd in downtown Anchorage was definitely not in short supply today, with hundreds of excited fans of all ages lining the streets. And the snow shipped in from Fairbanks to line the city streets was ample. The twins enjoyed their first time staging together from their own truck, and this Mad Blogger didn't really miss having to run back and forth between two vehicles!
Both twins enjoyed super nice Iditariders again this year. Anna had 14 year old Meaghann from Texas riding in her sled, while Kristy got to give Max Katenhus a little taste of the mushing life for his first Iditarod experience. These Iditariders bid in an auction and won the chance to ride in the sleds, with auction proceeds going to support the race. Given this, you might expect some disappointment on their part regarding the shortened start, but I didn't see any evidence of that as the twins' riders happily climbed into position.
Trail conditions over the 3 miles weren't ideal but were far from lamentable. There were still 2 culverts for teams to drive through, but both Anna and Kristy had seasoned leaders and had no issues. And there were still plenty of fans lining the trail. It was a little hectic at the end, with dog handlers husseling to get dog trucks out from the start to retrieve everyone, but it all worked out.
Now we're back out at the kennel, and the twins are hard at work with the last last minute preparations and packing. It's fun to watch these twin minds work together, comparing notes, lists, and ideas. It should come as no surprise, but these 2 make a seamless team.
On that note, forgive me while I put down the blog and offer my limited services to the prep work. Here are a few images from today and a short video of some very excited dogs from Anna's team to tide you over until tomorrow.