Friday, January 23, 2015

I'm dreaming of a white Iditarod

Dan Seavey with grandson Conway
at the Ceremonial Start of Iditarod 38.
...just like the ones I used to know. Where rivers are frozen, sleds aren't always broken, and the trail is covered with fresh snow!

I'm dreaming of a white Iditarod... with every day that passes by!

Okay, just be thankful that you didn't have to hear me sing that. Today South Central woke up to some rather happy snow accumulation - and it's still coming down!

This is exciting, but a little snow is just the start of what is needed to see some positive changes for the races of South Central. The Knik 200 posted on their website Wednesday that they would be moving the start of the race off of the lake and onto the Deshka airstrip. No doubt the snow is a welcome bonus as now trails will be covered for next week's start - as long as weather holds.

Things are still bleak down on the Kenai where the Tustumena 200 anxiously awaits the freezing temps that will hopefully solidify the trails over the waterways and they can use the snow to put in a decent trail. Until the snow accumulation started yesterday there was next to no snow on any part of the trail that starts in Kasilof and makes its way down to Homer and back. The race is set to kick off on Feb 21 - after rescheduling from the original date of Feb 7 - but without a firmly set trail there's no way that they will safely pull it off. Race officials will not make the decision to cancel until closer to race time - but they are keeping teams on the roster well informed of how things are going and what they are planning.

With 43 days until the Iditarod, the restart is still the biggest question - where will they host it? Tradition has always been South Central/MatSu - with one exception in 2003 when Chinook winds made a restart in Wasilla or Willow impossible and the race was run from Fairbanks. Officials are still talking of that being the posibility for Iditarod this year as well, but won't make that decision for at least another month.

There are also rumors that there isn't enough snow in the area to truck in for a Ceremonial Start in Anchorage - but if this weekend's snow sticks around those rumors should be easily laid to rest. It's 11 miles through Anchorage, I'm sure they can manage with little to no snow in spots.

So keep up the snow dances, prayers, sacrifices, whatever else you're doing folks. We've got a lot of winter left before race day!

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