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Iditarod: day zero

Saturday,  03/01/14  11:03 PM

Today was day zero of the Iditarod, the Ceremonial start of the 1,000-mile sled dog race from Anchorage to Nome in Alaska.  Today each of the sixty-nine mushers start with only twelve dogs in their teams, down from the sixteen they'll use in the "real" race, and they ride twelve miles through downtown Anchorage in a little parade, two minutes apart.  Each of the mushers towed a sled with a passenger, an "IditaRider", who has a one-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of the race.  Tomorrow the real race starts with the "restart" in Willow, on the North side of Anchorage.


Everything is in readiness but there is a big problem with this year's Iditarod: not enough snow.  This January was one of the warmest in Alaskan history, and as a result the trails are wet and slushy and even dirty.  That's not great for sledding of course.  In addition to the trail conditions, warm weather isn't great for the dogs; they do their best work when its cold and their bodies don't overheat from the exertion.  (The typical sled dog burns over 10,000 calories a day while racing.)  And if the weather now gets colder it will result in ice, which is also not greta for sledding.  Doesn't seem like the mushers are too excited about the conditions, nor the dogs...


If you're planning to follow the race, there is of course the Iditarod offical website, which has up to the minute standings, and the Anchorage Daily News, which has great coverage including an Iditablog.  There is as always speculation about the favorites; a lot of people are picking Norwegian Robert Sorlie, a two time winner who is back this year after a four year absence, or Aliy Zirkle, who's finished second twice including last year.  (There are three Norwegian teams this year, all strong contenders, and a fair number of women are competing, including of course my favorite DeeDee Jonrowe, who has finished second twice.)  Other favorites include Mitch Seavey, last year's winner (and oldest ever), and his son Dallas Seavey, 2012 campion (and youngest ever).  Dallas' brother Dan is also in the race this year.

One thing to be aware of is that in the early days of this eight-day race the fastest teams may be going the slowest; "go slow to arrive fast" is an Iditarod truism.  The best way to see which teams are going to win is to watch the dogs eat, and if you can't do that you have to scan the blogs and Twitter.  Onward to the restart, and Go Deedee!

(All Iditarod 2014 posts)


Saturday,  03/01/14  11:40 PM

It's Oscar pre-night, did you know?  Yep, tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 the red carpet show begins, and the Academy Awards themselves start at 5:00...  get your Tivos ready.  I plan to be sailing in the rain :(


picked to win

my favorite


Twelve Years a Slave

Dallas Buyer's Club


Alfonso Cuarón

Alfonso Cuarón


Christian Bale

Matthew McConaughey


Cate Blanchett

Sandra Bullock

Warmed up for the Oscars by renting Quartet on the AppleTV, a beautiful little movie directed by Dustin Hoffman.  Highly recommended.  I'm starting to think all my favorite movies are the ones without special effects... 

Women want their partners to be as smart as they are, men want to be slightly smarter than their partners.  And both are likely to be disappointed :) 

Who holds the seven keys to the Internet?  And one ring to bind them... 

The next frontier in software tech?  Cars.  Which is why Apple and Google are all over them.  What OS will your next car be running? 

We know now that Tesla's forthcoming Model E will have a 200 mile range, be 20% smaller than the Model S, and will cost about $35,000.  But what OS will it run?  (Tesla's Model S currently runs a Linux distro.) 

Yes, I am missing Sochi already.  Not so much the city, but the Olympics ... without cross country skiing to watch, life just doesn't seem as fun?  Seriously it has been a tough week, with Ukraine poised for civil war and the Russians invading the Crimea; was sure nice to set all that aside and pretend that bobsled racing was our only problem. 

Happy 10th birthday, Engadget!  Man I can't believe it.  (Still remember when Peter Rojas left Gizmodo to start it.)  My first reaction is, wow, I've been blogging for a long time now... :) 


Iditarod 2014

Saturday,  03/01/14  11:48 PM

For you Iditarod fans out there, here's an index of my 2014 Iditarod posts:

02/28/14 10:51 PM -

ready, set, Iditarod

03/01/14 11:03 PM -

Iditarod: day zero

03/02/14 11:44 PM -

Iditarod day one - and they're off!

03/04/14 12:26 AM -

Iditarod day 2 - fast start over dirt

03/04/14 11:15 PM -

Iditarod day 3 - three ways to win

03/05/14 10:45 PM -

Iditarod day 4 - leaders race while resters rest

03/06/14 10:44 PM -

Iditarod day 5 - to the Yukon, Jack!

03/07/14 10:32 PM -

Iditarod day 6 - onward to Unalakleet

03/08/14 08:52 AM -

Iditarod day 7 - AM - Aliy takes the lead

03/08/14 11:51 PM -

Iditarod day 7 - PM - Leaders off across Norton Sound

03/09/14 09:57 AM -

Iditarod day 8 - AM - Zirkle, King, Buser, Lindner, and the Seaveys

03/09/14 07:48 PM -

Iditarod day 8 - PM - Jeff King takes the lead in Kayuk

03/10/14 10:04 AM -

Iditarod day 9 - AM - King into White Mountain, heading for Nome

03/10/14 08:04 PM -

Iditarod day 9 - PM - final push into Nome to crown the King

03/11/14 12:28 AM -

Iditarod day 10 - Zirkle passes King into Safety first!

03/11/14 01:48 AM -

Iditarod day 10 - King scratches (!), Aliy holed up, Seaveys closing in

03/11/14 02:41 AM -

Iditarod day 10 - Seavey in and out of Safety, Zirkle gives chase

03/11/14 05:15 AM -

Iditarod day 10 - Dallas Seavey wins!, Aliy Zirkle a close second

03/11/14 10:00 PM -

Iditarod wrap



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