Brenda's 2003 Daily Iditarod Coverage
Countdown to Iditarod 2003 Restart — Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
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February 12, 2003
The Race starts on March 1st this year...
Oh my, it will be very different from last year!
"Never before has The Last Great Race faced a weather problem like this. Icy trail and thin snow have pushed the restart north to Willow a couple of times. Snowstorms have stalled the race in the Alaska Range on occasion. Blizzard winds and extreme cold along the Bering Sea coast have nearly killed mushers.  But all those problems are winter-related.  Even with the National Weather Service predicting a shift in the jetstream that will free the East Coast from the deep freeze and return winter to Alaska, Iditarod organizers couldn't gamble with the race less than three weeks away.

Instead of a March 2 restart in soggy Wasilla, this year's Iditarod will restart Monday, March 3, in a quickly refreezing Fairbanks. Mushers will head out onto the Chena River, follow it to the Tanana and then push on for the Yukon River and Ruby.  At Ruby, the race will make a short jog south into the Innoko River country to rejoin the historic Iditarod Trail at Ophir. From there, Hooley said, the race follows the traditional southern route west to Shageluk and eventually on to Nome.  Race officials estimate the course change will add 75 to 100 miles onto what is usually an 1,100-mile event.  "For the first few hundred miles of this race," Hooley added, "everyone's going to be a rookie"  —

We are all preparing to go up for the 2003 Iditarod and thought we should tell you how weird this race will be.  Just like the quote above, NEVER before has there been such a big change in the race due to the weather. The Jr Iditarod is going to run over at Lake Louise near Glenallen.  We have been making and changing our reservations daily to keep up with where we need to be and when.  It should be a very interesting year.  As much as possible, Bill and I will post updates to the web site. Veridian Design has provided much help in getting us up to speed on this as well as designing a Forum for kids and Scouts and other fans that want to "chat" about what is going on this year. Sign up here for the forum  There are still modifications to be made to this area. We will post photos at and info daily at until we have to come home on March 10th and then will post what others send to us as it develops.  Should be a very interesting year!!