|DeeDee Jonrowe accepts a pair of earrings on Cordova Street during the ceremonial start in 2016. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)|
As mushers and their sled dog teams prepare to dash to Nome and spectators prepare to follow their journeys, the Alaska Dispatch News prepared answers to a few questions about how the race works and what we might expect this year.
1. When will the 2017 Iditarod start?
It begins with an 11-mile ceremonial start on Saturday, March 4, at 10 a.m. in Anchorage. Mushers and their teams will take off from Fourth Avenue, near where it intersects with D Street. They'll turn onto Cordova Street and drop down the hill to Mulcahy Stadium before snaking their way along city trails and ending their run at the Campbell Airstrip in Far North Bicentennial Park.
Two days later, the official race begins in Fairbanks on Monday, March 6, at 11 a.m. If temperatures stay low, teams will start on the frozen Chena River near Pike's Landing. If it warms up and the river ice melts, the race will move to a nearby road.
|Iditarod musher Jessie Royer mushes past the Riverboat Discovery on the Chena River in Fairbanks in 2015. (Loren Holmes / ADN)|
Teams will leave the starting chute one by one, at two-minute intervals. People can park at the Carlson Center where shuttle buses will leave for the start beginning at 8 a.m., said Lanien Livingston, Fairbanks North Star Borough spokeswoman.