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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

At the start of the Iditarod

While in Anchorage over the weekend I not only got to race in a race, but I got to watch the start of another race - The Iditarod. My cousin Lev was in town as an 'iditarider' on the sled of Michael Williams Jr.. Lev is a teacher at a school in Massachusetts that both sent him to a teacher's conference in Anchorage and got him the ride on the sled. What a deal! Michael Williams Jr. is an Iditarod rookie who hails from Akiak Alaska. I just checked the Iditerod standings and he is currently in 13th place.

The best part of the deal is that Lev acquired extra VIP passes to the start for the rest of us (my cousin Will and his wife Beth). We got to see all the dog teams up close and personal. It was quite a scene - all the dogs were barking and raring to go. The mushers nervously making last minute preparations and waiting for the race to finally start. One of the sleds is carrying the stethoscope of a doctor who was tragically killed while on his first dogsled ride when he was run over by a drunken snowmobiler. My cousin Will who is also a doctor knew him quite well, and it was good to see the stethoscope on its way to Nome. It meant a lot to Will. Patrick

Photos and Video: The top photo is of my cousin Lev getting comfortable in Michael Williams sled before the start of the race. The second photo is of Michael Williams Jr. and his brother while they were hooking up the team. Michael's entire family was there from Akiok getting him ready for the race. The third photo is of a dog team just after the start of the race, and finally the bottom 2 photos are of my cousin Lev and Michael (brother riding on chase sled) on the course near the Alaska Native Medical Center. The video should speak for itself.

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