Starting positions set for 2018 Iditarod; 67 mushers to depart from Willow on Sunday

Miss Alaska 2017, Angelina Klapperich, poses next to the trophy (bearing a likeness of the late Joe Redington, Sr.) that will be given to the 2018 Iditarod champion. (Photo by Davis Hovey, KNOM)

Cody Strathe of Fairbanks will be the first musher out on the trail for the start of the 2018 Iditarod sled dog race.

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After bib #1 was dedicated to this year’s honorary musher, the late Joe Redington, Jr. — who passed away in August 2017 — Strathe and all the other 66 registered mushers drew numbers from a traditional mukluk boot during last night’s mushers banquet in Anchorage.

Besides featuring notable mushers competing in this year’s race, like Aliy Zirkle, Mitch Seavey and Martin Buser, the Iditarod opening festivities at the Dena’ina Center also included speeches from Governor Bill Walker, former musher Mike Williams, Sr. and Nome’s Mayor Richard Beneville.

The ceremonial start of the 2018 Iditarod is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10am in Anchorage, followed by the race restart in Willow the next day. Strathe is set to leave the starting line at 2pm in Willow with Mats Petterson leaving two minutes behind him.

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Davis Hovey is a news reporter at KNOM - Nome. Hovey was born and raised in Virginia. He spent most of his childhood in Greene County 20 minutes outside of Charlottesville where University of Virginia is located. Hovis was drawn in by the opportunity to work for a radio station in a remote, unique place like Nome Alaska. Hovis went to Syracuse University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Broadcast Digital Journalism.