The ceremonial race start was Saturday, March 3 in downtown Anchorage, 4th Avenue. The next day the official start at Willow commenced. The teams are racing 1000 miles, the vast majority of it across wilderness plains and mountains to the small town of Nome. Watching the ceremonial start this years was a real thrill for me. My friend, Bruce Milne, vest number 70, from Two Rivers, is making his rookie appearance this year. His already an accomplished racer, having completed the Yukon Quest (Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska) several times and numerous other races. (The Yukon Quest is regarded by many to be a much more challenging race than the Iditarod.) Several teams have already scratched since Sunday due to riders being thrown from their sleds on icy stretches of the trail and injured, but Bruce is still going strong! Below are pictures of Bruce at the ceremonial start and dogs from another team.