Brenda's 2003 Daily Iditarod Coverage
Countdown to Iditarod 2003 Restart — Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
12–20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
February 22, 2003
Junior Iditarod starts at Wolverine Lodge in Glenallen. First time for this new Route!!

Bill, Jordan and I drove over to the Wolverine Lodge early this beautiful Saturday morning, with sunrise surrounding us, to watch a great bunch of junior mushers start the 2003 Junior Iditarod. Teams were parked all around the lake, dogs were barking in excitement, parents were hovering around helping their kids get organized and the atmosphere was crackling. Names such as Seavey, Osmar, Buser, King, Baker and others were in today's lineup. Jordan was experiencing some withdrawal symptoms as he helped some of his buddies hook up and lline out for the start. Longtime friend and major Jr. Iditarod volunteer, Wrex Diem, wore Bib Number One as the Honorary Musher for this year. Joanne Potts and Cheryl Church were seen helping all around this scene as was Barb Redington. As always, this bunch of Jr. Mushers is an outstanding group of young people!!

Walking around to visit with all the teams was an enlightening experience. Mitch and Tyrell Seavey and Jim Gallea were helping Dallas get ready while Mom, Janine, made sure Dallas ate a big cheese burger before he hit the trail. Tim Osmar was helping daughter, Nicole, count her required calories for her sled when I suggested that 2 jars of peanut butter worked just fine for Jordan last year. He thought that was a brilliant idea. Nicole's Mom related that Grandfather, Dean Osmar, who has not run Iditarod since he won in 1984, is pretty jazzed about running this year. When asked if they might one day have a three generation run, like the Seavey family did in 2001, the answer was probably not as Nicole has begun cheerleading for her high school.

Martin Buser was in deep conversation with Nikolai prior to his rookie run as were Jeff and Cali King with younger sister, Tessa. Jeremy Hoover was nervous about his rookie run, not having been able to get in enough training miles due to lack of snow in the Matsu Valley this season. Heather Hardy and the Redington family had an interesting team that included two Irish Setters. Max Kormuller, Ellie Claus and Elisabeth Haberman all looked great as they headed out of the chute today. Good luck to all of the rookies and veterans alike.

Later this afternoon, we will drive over to the halfway point, at Sourdough Cabin to watch the teams come in and bed down for their mandatory ten hour layover. Everyone can start placing bets on who will top the list of finishers!!

Check back for more info and log onto the site, click on the Jr. Iditarod button to find out more.