First, I want to say that we are so proud of ALL our dogs. Every single pup is part of the team, whether or not they run in this particular race.
The dogs who don’t race will be staying at the lodge with @yotamhaber, enjoying fun runs and plenty of attention. As far as they’re concerned, they’re the stars.
As for the dogs who ARE racing...
Do you think I’d go anywhere without this girl?? I’m proud to report that Flame has earned her place on the team through sheer athleticism, not favoritism. She did two tough 80-mile runs last week made it look like a breeze.
5. and 6.
Remember how I said that since our dogs were young and haven’t seen this trail before, we might bring mentor dogs who have run the Iditarod before? Those dogs are Orville and Wilbur, super calm, older brothers from Ray Redington. Pic coming soon!
Orville and Wilbur have both run the Iditarod several times and I think they’ll bring some great confident energy to our young team. I thought they were named after snack foods but @QuinceMountain says they’re named after the Wright brothers.
Sweet lil Ebony always runs all-out—but she’s such a tremendous athlete that she rarely gets tired, even after loping for hours. Maybe the Iditarod will help her learn to pace herself. I think she’ll have a blast.
Everyone’s favorite Catholic sled dog will be pointing all his super-powerful energy toward Nome. He is the only dog who may gain weight during the race because we’ll finally let him eat whatever he wants.
But as some of you know, Jenga’s getting older and has been dealing with a touch of arthritis. It responded well to glucosamine and she’s trained with the team all winter, but she’s let us know in other ways that she’s getting ready to retire and be a Lady of Leisure.
I think Jenga COULD run the Iditarod. But I also think she wouldn’t be that into it.
So in honor of her years of leadership and love (and many more to come), Jenga will be joining the Iditarod team in a position of honor for the ceremonial start. She will lead us through the streets of Anchorage, just like she’s led me through so many miles of wilderness.
After the ceremonial start, the 14th position on the team will go to TIMMY, an Actual Giant who belongs to Nic Petit and is good friends with our dogs. He has run to Nome before and we are thrilled to have him along.
And that’s the team, y’all! You can tune in tomorrow at 10am Alaska time to watch a livestream of the ceremonial start at https://iditarod.com/live/ .
You can follow @BlairBraverman.