2009 Iditarod

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We Are Tracking the 2009 Iditarod Here!

This is your live coverage update page for the 2009 Iditarod. Feel free to pitch in, and add links to news stories, edit the facts of the race as they happen. Registration is quick, easy and free in the upper right corner of this page. This site uses a wiki, and allows visitors to edit the page, post pictures and other fils. Please keep race coverage posted here as impartial and factual as possible.

The ceremonial start of the 37th annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race across Alaska will began with the Ceremmonial Start at 10:00 a.m., March 7, 2009. The competitive start or "restart" began Sunday, March 8, 2009 in Willow, Alaska.

Since it is an "odd" year the the race will follow the Southern Route for 1,151 miles across the Alaska Range, through the sparsely inhabited Interior, along the frozen Yukon River, and then up the coast of the Bering Sea to the city of Nome. The race alternates courses slightly with the Northern Route followed for "even" years.

Sixty seven (67) competitors are signed up and will begin the official leg of the race in Willow. Last year there 95 entrants, but the fee was raised to $4,000 by the Iditarod Trail Committee for this year.

The route information below is geographically factual, and will be adjusted during the race as the pace becomes apparent. This schedule is from the pace of the 2007 Southern Route race, but adjusted for the the 2009 calendar.

UAF/GINA's Google Earth Iditarod Tracking!

Thematic Units & BSSD Student Broadcast Team Information, Photos & Videos

Maps & Checkpoint Information
Numerous resources are available for learning about the route of the race, and for tracking the progress of individual mushers:


2009 IditaProject Info

For the sixth straight year, BSSD will offering the free IditaProject resources, including live video conference (VTC) and Flash web broadcasts. The registration form is at:

Iditarod 2009 Photos & Videos & Archives

Videos & Photos
Iditaproject 2009 Iditaproject Archives 2007-2008
Iditaproject 2009 Photos Iditaproject 2007
Iditaproject 2009 Videos Iditaproject 2008

2009 Iditarod Route

Ceremonial start
Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip: (11 mi (18 km)
Campbell Airstrip to Willow: 59 mi (95 km)
Willow to Yetna: 45 mi (72 km)
See Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for rest of route
Modified distance: 1,161 miles (1,868 km)

March 7: Ceremonial start in Anchorage

Ceremonial start at Anchorage: The mushers will depart from Anchorage, Alaska on March 7, 2009. Large crowds and a party atmosphere prevail as teams composed of a musher and twelve dogs pulling a dogsled charge out of the starting chute at the corner of Fourth and D Streets, and follow the 11 Mile (18 km) route through the urban center to Campbell Air Strip. The mushers are accompanied on the sled by "Idita-riders", the highest bidders in a pre-race auction.

Campbell Airstrip: After the mushers arrive at Campbell Airstrip, the dogs are transported by vehicle to the "restart" location at Willow, Alaska.

Ceremonial Start News Links

Ceremonial Start Video Clips

Please see the Ceremonial Start page for collected videos from Anchorage!

March 8: Restart at Willow

Restart at Willow: The mushers leave the Community of Willow, Alaska two minutes apart, in Bib order. The teams are increased to the competitive total of 16 dogs each. No additional dogs can be added during the race, but they can be left behind at any of the checkpoints along the route.



March 9: Alaska Range

Finger Lake:

Sebastian Schnuelle arrived and left first 2009-03-09 06:13:00, 39 minutes in front of Paul Gebhardt.

Rob Loveman was the last to leave at 2009-03-10 09:01:00. Bob Hickel scratched.

Rainy Pass:

Sebastian Schnuelle is still in the lead, but only with a few minutes. Schnuelle leaves the checkpoint at 2009-03-09 15:35:00, but Paul Gebhardt, Rick Swenson and Aaron Burmeister all leaves within 20 minutes after his departure.

The last with a recorded out time is Blake Matray and Kim Darst, 2009-03-10 20:59:00. However, four mushers don't have any out time registred.

Nancy Yoshida scratches after getting some real trouble down the gorge.


Paul Gebhardt arrives first, with Sebastian Schnuell nine minutes behind. Gebhardt is leaving first at 2009-03-09 20:25:00 They departs two hour in front of Lance Mackey.

Bjørnar Andersen hurts himself in the buffalo tunnels just outside Rohn.

Rob Loveman is the last to leave, 2009-03-11 13:16:00

March 10: Alaskan Interior


Hugh Neff and Sebastian Schnuelle arrives together in front, Neff and Aaron Burmeister left together at 2009-03-10 16:47:00.

Rob Loveman is the last to leave, 2009-03-12 16:34:00


Aaron Burmeister leaves first 2009-03-10 23:43. The front pack just blewed through.

Kim Darst is the last to leave, 2009-03-14 after taking her 24 hours mandatory rest at this checkpoint.

March 11


Most of the front pack rested their 24 hours mandatory at this checkpoing, making Martin Buser the first to leave at 2009-03-11 13:27:00. Aaron Burmeister was the first of the mandatory resters departing at 2009-03-12 03:08:00.

The reports said that the trail past Ophir was blown, so the mushers in front parked for their mandatory rest. Read more in ADN: Blown over trail

The last to leave was Kim Darst leaving at 2009-03-14 06:59:00. Bjørnar Andersen injury from the Buffalo tunnels forces him to scratch.


Martin Buser was first to arrive, with Jim Lanier next, since everyone else in the front was resting in Takotna.

Aaron Burmeister leaves first 2009-03-12 06:17:00, 30 minutes ahead of Hugh Neff, 1 hour and 7 minutes in front of Lance Mackey.

Kurt Reich scratches and Rob Loveman is withdrawn. Kim Darst and Blake Matray are last to leave, 2009-03-14 16:37:00

March 12: Halfway

Iditarod: The first musher to arrive in the ghost town of Iditarod in first place wins the GCI] Dorthy Page Halfway Award and $4,000 in placer gold nuggets.

Lance Mackey arrives first (17:20) and get the award and leaves at 2009-03-12 23:43 3.5 hours in front of Aaron Burmeister. He planned to stop on his way here, but his dogs was so eager to go that he kept on.

The last to leave are Kim Darst and Blake Matray at 2009-03-16. They ran into real problems (the same storm causing big problems in the front pack trying to cross the ice to Kouyk) and never makes it to Shageluk. Lou Packer also scratch on the leg to Shageluk.

March 13: Yukon River

Shageluk: Lance Mackey has gained a real lead. He arrives and blew through the checkpoint. He leaves at 2009-03-13 07:43, Jeff King is the next to leave, at 2009-03-13 15:55:00.

Alan Peck is the the last to leave at 2009-03-16 08:46:00

Anvik: The first musher into Anvik on the Yukon River wins the First Musher to the Yukon Award which consists of a seven course meal and $3,500 in cash.

Lance Mackey arrives at 2009-03-13 12:12:00 and do his mandatory Yukon rest (or eating?) here. Jeff King is the first to leave at 2009-03-13 19:45:00, Mackey leaves only 27 minutes behind King.

Alan Peck is the last to leave, 2009-03-16 19:10:00

Grayling: Grayling: The mushers in the front pack who passed Mackey in Anvik takes their 8 hours mandatory at this checkpoint. Lance Mackey is the first to leave at 2009-03-13 22:55:00, 4 hours and 10 minutes in front of Sebastian Schnuelle.

Alan Peck is the last one to leave, 2009-03-17 21:14:00.

Laura Daugereau scratches at this checkpoint. The storm causing problems all over the places hits the middle/back of the pack between Grayling and Eagle Island. Jeff Holt never makes it to Eagle Island and also scratch.

March 14

Eagle Island: Lance Mackey arrives and departs first, 2009-03-14 15:48:00. Hugh Neff is the next one to leave at 2009-03-14 19:27:00.

Timothy Hunt and Alan Peck are the last to leaves at 2009-03-18 19:37:00.

Kaltag: Lance Mackey leaves at 2009-03-15 03:58:00, two hours before Sebastian Schnuelle.

Alan Peck and Timothy Hunt are the last to leave at 2009-03-19. However, the GPS shows that Peck stayed in Kaltag (may have returned) for many hours, and used just above 40 hours to Unalakleet from his official departure.

March 15: Bering Sea

Unalakleet: The first musher into Unalakleet in first place is awarded the Wells Fargo "Gold Coast" Award and $3,000 in gold for being first to Norton Sound.

Lance Mackey gets the Gold Coast Award.

Lance Mackey leaves at 2009-03-15 22:17:00, five hours in front of Sebastian Schnuelle. Mackey left the checkpoint at the same time as Aaron Burmeister as number two arrived.

Alan Peck is the last to leave at 2009-03-21 19:00:00

March 16


The front pack didn't stop long in Shaktoolik. Lance Mackey spent 30 minutes and left at 2009-03-16 04:57:00. Sebastian Schnuelle followed five hours later. Aaron Burmeister, Mitch Seavey, Jeff King, John Baker and Hans Gatt all left Shaktoolik between 12 and 13 the same day. Only Mackey, Schnuelle and Baker was able to go all the way to Koyuk, the others stopped at a small shelter, hiding for a storm which blew in. In the end, Seavey and Burmeister camped, while King and Gatt returned to Shaktoolik.

No one left Shaktoolik for the next 20 hours. Ramey Smyth was the first to leave at 2009-03-17 09:35:00. Smyth was soon followed by Dallas Seavey, Jessie Royer and Cim Smyth. Mitch Seavey and Burmeister also crossed the ice more or less together with this pack. The group arrived at Koyuk 2009-03-17 16:24:00, almost 12 hours after Baker and Schnuelle left.

The race was 'unofficial' stopped during this storm, meaning that most mushers tried to find shelter either on trail or waited in checkpoints. During this storm, 4 mushers scratched.

The last to leave was Timothy Hunt, leaving at 2009-03-21 16:30. Alan Peck left the checkpoint 15 hours later, but eventually returned to the checkpoint and scratched.


Lance Mackey managed to cross the ice to Koyuk, arriving at 2009-03-16 11:59:00. He left at 2009-03-16 20:54:00, eight hours in front of Sebastian Schnuelle and John Baker. The front packs are divided in three. Mother Nature made it to be a race for the second place between Schnuelle and Baker, and a race for the 4-8 place. Jessie Royer was the first of this group to leave Koyuk, 14 hours after Schnuelle, and almost 24 hours after Mackey.

Timothy Hunt is the last to leave at 2009-03-22 09:06


Lance Mackey is going steady for his third victory. Leaving at 2009-03-17 10:57:00, 6.5 hours in front of Schnuelle and Baker.

Ed Iten, Melissa Owens and Aaron Peck all scratches at this point. Timothy Hunt and Heather Siirtola are the last to leave, leaving Elim at 2009-03-23 00:15

March 17: Dash to the Finish

White Mountain:

Lance Mackey had this checkpoint mostly to himself, during his 8 hours mandatory rest, he left at 2009-03-18 02:11:00 almost 7 hours in front of Schnuelle. Schnuelle had a minor lead on Baker, leaving 28 minutes ahead.

In the third group of the front, fighting for fourth to eight place, Aaron Burmeister was the first to leave, four minutes before Mitch Seavey. Cim Smyth, Dallas Seavey and Jessie Royer all left within the hour of Burmeister. The GPS showed that Burmeister didn't manage to keep the same speeds as the others.


The order of Mackey, Schnuelle and Baker did not change. In the run for 4 th. place, Mitch Seavey had 35 minutes lead on Cim Smyth. Cim Smyth left one minute in front of Burmeister, Dallas Seavey and Jessie Royer both left within 15 minutes after Cim Smyth.

Nome: The winner is the musher who arrives to Nome first, and is awarded $69,000 and a brand new Dodge pick-up truck.

Lance Mackey arrived first at 2009-03-18 11:38:46, using 9 days, 21 hours, 38 minutes and 46 seconds with 15 dogs.

2009 Scratches

Melissa Owens Scratched in Elim.

Ed Iten Scratched in Elim, 2009-03-18 at ??:??. He dropped three dogs in Elim, left the checkpoint, went some miles and camped out. In the end he decided to return to Elim to scratch.

Alan Peck

Aaron Peck

Jeff Holt, scratched between Grayling and Eagle Island, 2009-03-17 at 07:30 pm. Airlifted to Unalakleet by the Iditarod Air Force (IAF).

Laura Daugereau, scratched at Grayling

Lou Packer, scratched between Iditarod and Shageluk, 2009-03-16 at 9 pm. Packer was airlifted by IAF. Full story in Anchorage Daily News (ADN): Packers story

Blake Matray and Kim Darst scratched between Iditarod and Shageluk, 2009-03-16 at 8 pm. They were escorted by Iditarod Trail Sweepers to Shageluk.

Matray, Darst and Packer were traveling more or less together in the back when they hit problems due to no trail, much wind and deep snow.

Kurt Reich scratched at Don's cabin, on the trail between Ophir and Iditarod, 2009-03-15 at 6:15 pm

Rob Loveman was withdrawn in Ophir, 2009-03-14 at 8:15 pm per Iditarod Race Rule 36: A team may be withdrawn that is out of the competition and is no longer making a valid effort to compete.

Bjørnar Andersen scratched in Takotna 2009-03-12 at 06:45 due to suspection of internal injuries after a crash just out of Rohn. Andersen was transported to Anchorage for medical treatment. Full story in ADN: Andersens story

Nancy Yoshida scratched in Rainy Pass 2009-03-10 at 10:02 pm due to crash which broke parts of her sled and loosing a dog which later was found. Read more in ADN:

Bob Hickel scratched in Finger Lake at 2009-03-10 07:40 am

2009 Iditarod Awards

Note: All monetary values are in U.S. Dollars

2009 Iditarod Statistics

52 of 67 mushers finished (77.61%).

Musher statistics

List of where mushers took their 24h mandatory rest:

List of where mushers took their 8h mandatory rest (Yukon):

Dog statistics 575 of 1071 dogs starting (53.69%) finished. Considering just the teams that finished, 69.19% dogs finished. The average numbers of dogs arriving in Nome was 11.06 per team with the median numbers of dog being 11.

2009 External Iditarod Coverage Links

2009 Iditarod Musher Information

So far there are 68 active entries for the 2009 Iditarod, and five withdrawals.

Please add links to news stories, websites or blogs of 2009 Iditarod entrants only here:

Harry Alexie (r)

Harry is Alaska National Guard

Kwethluk, Alaska

Harry is a rookie that is from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village of Kwethluk, and a sergeant in the Alaska Army National Guard. The Guard are sponsoring him for the 2009 Iditarod, Lance Mackey is providing guidance for Harry, who is mostly a sprint race musher. Mackey skipped the Yukon Quest this partially because Harry would be using one of his dog teams, and in training in the period leading up to this year's Iditarod [4].


News Links

Ken Anderson

Fairbanks, Alaska

Bjornar Andersen

Oslo, Norway

Mira's Video of Bjornar's Ceremonial Start

Jake Berkowitz

Anchorage, Alaska

Francine Bennis

Trapper Creek, Alaska

John Baker

Kotzebue, Alaska

Robert Bundtzen

Anchorage, Alaska

Aaron Burmeister

Nenana/Nome, Alaska

Martin Buser

Big Lake, Alaska

Judy Currier

Two Rivers, Alaska

Kim Darst (r)

Blairstown, New Jersey

Laura Daugereau

Port Gambel, Washington

Linwood Fiedler

Willow, Alaska

Blake Freking

Finland, MN

Cindy Gallea

Seeley Lake, Montana

Hans Gatt

Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada

Paul Gebhardt

Kasilof, Alaska

Sven Haltmann

Willow, Alaska

Matt Hayashida

Willow, Alaska

Karin Hendrickson (r)

Chugiak, Alaska

Trent Herbst

Ketchum, Idaho

Bob Hickel

Anchorage, Alaska

Tim Hunt (r)

Marquette, Michigan

Ed Iten

Kotzebue, Alaska

DeeDee Jonrowe

Willow, Alaska

Jeff King

Denali Park, Alaska

Jim Lanier

Chugiak, Alaska

Rick Larsen

Sand Coulee, Montana

Chad Lindner (r)

Brocklyn, Mass.

Sonny Lindner

Two Rivers, Alaska

Bruce Linton

Kasilof, Alaska

Robert Loveman (r)

Seeley Lake, Montana

Lance Mackey

Fairbanks, Alaska

Wade Marrs (r)

Wasilla, Alaska

Blake Matray (r)

Two Rivers, Alaska

Debbie Moderow

Anchorage, Alaska

Alan Moore

Two Rivers, Alaska

Robert Nelson

Anchorage, Alaska

Hugh Neff

Skagway, Alaska

Tim Osmar

Ninilchik, Alaska

Melissa Owens

Nome, Alaska

Lou Packer (r)

Wasilla, Alaska

Warren Palfrey

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Gary Paulsen

Willow, Alaska

Aaron Peck

Berason, Alberta, Canada

Alan Peck (r)

Eagle River, Alaska

Ray Redington Jr.

Wasilla, Alaska

Ryan Redington

Wasilla, Alaska

Kurt Reich (r)

Divide, Colorado

Tim Riley (r)

Hastings, Michigan

Jessie Royer

Fairbanks, Alaska

Rachael Scdoris

Bend, Oregon

Sebastian Schnuelle

Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, Canada

Dallas Seavey

Seward, Alaska

Jen Seavey (r)

Seward, Alaska

Mitch Seavey

Seward, Alaska

Heather Siirtola

Talkeetna, Alaska

Cim Smyth

Big Lake, Alaska

Ramey Smyth

Willow, Alaska

Michael Suprenant (r)

Chugiak, Alaska

Jerry Sousa

Talkeetna, Alaska

Ed Stielstra

McMillan, Michigan

Rick Swenson

Two Rivers, Alaska

Tom Thurston (r)

Oak Creek, Colorado

Mike Williams

Akiak, Alaska

Gerry Willomitzer

Whitehorse, Yukon Territories, Canada

Nancy Yoshida (r)

Thompson, North Dakota

Aliy Zirkle

Two Rivers, Alaska

2009 Iditarod Withdrawals

The following mushers registered, but withdrew before the start of the 2009 Iditarod race:

Matt Calore

Talkeetna, Alaska

Sigrid Ekran

Fairbanks, Alaska (Team Norway)

Sigrid withdrew September 15, 2008 - Source: Iditarod Website - Rumors of visa problems, but this is unconfirmed.

Rick Horstmann

Willow, Alaska (r)

Rick withdrew September 18, 2008 - Source: Iditarod Website

Bill Pinkham

Glenwood, Colorado

Withdrew September 8, 2008 - Source: Iditarod Website

Brent Sass (r)

Fairbanks, Alaska

Silvia Willis

Deshka Landing, Alaska

Withdrew July 17, 2008 - Source Iditarod Website

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