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Mushers of the 2016 Iditarod Sled Dog Race “The Last Greatest Race”
By: Barbara Denzer. Posted: Mar, 7, 2016

Even though Anchorage, Alaska is a little short of snow this year, the historic Alaskan sled dog race, the Iditarod, began today!  The race, which runs from Willow to Nome, across tundra, through mountains and even crossing rivers is as treacherous as climbing mountains like Everest. Racers, called Mushers have a team of 16 dogs. At least six dogs must be on the sled “towline” at the end of the 1,000 mile race, which can take from 9 to 15 days depending largely on the weather and trail conditions. Most of the drama takes place in areas so remote, pro photographers don’t go there. So, catch pictures of the race that will be posted on the internet by friends and family of the mushers.


This year, 2016, there are about 85 mushers signed up for the historic race. Most ride on the back of the sleds, some jogging behind it for hours to lighten the load for the dogs. Endurance is the name of the game. 

Look for some of the famous mushers on Facebook:  Dallas Seavey (3 time winner) Mitch Seaver (Dallas’ father won in 2013).  

So you can look them up on Facebook, or their own websites, here’s a list of the first ten of this year’s participating team leaders, who drew numbers for their starting place. The number one position always goes to an honorary musher.  Scott Janssen from Anchorage is #2. It’s his 5th start.  Jessie Royer #3 of Darby, Montana is the first woman on the list, starting her 14th race.  #4 - Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm, Minnesota enters for the 3rd time this year. #5 is Allen Moore of Two Rivers, AK starting his 9th race.

#6 is Ketil Reitan from Kaktovik, AK, racing for the 5th time.  Lisbet Norris, #7 is from Willow, her third race. She’s followed by #8  Monica Zappa of Kasilof, AK. Starting at number 9 is Charley Bejna of Addison, Illinois racing for the 4th time. Number 10 is Cim Smyth of Big Lake, AK starting for the 14th time. 

You’ll want to check out some of these famous names from past years:  Rick Swenson 5 wins, Lance Mackey (4 years in a row 2007-2010), Jeff King, 4 time winner, Susan Butcher, 4 times . Martin Buser 4 times, Doug Swingley (3 in a row 1999-2001).  Rober Sorlie – 2 wins. The first woman to win was Libby Riddles in 1985. Butcher, Swenson, Swingly and Riddles are not racing this year. There are lots of competitors this year that have won once or been in the Top 10 in years past. Look for the complete list of this year’s racers (with pictures) at http://iditarod.com/race/2016/mushers/  

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