Update: Akiak’s Mike Williams Junior drew bib number 27. Aniak’s Richie Diehl drew bib number 29. And Bethel’s Pete Kaiser drew bib number 30.
The ceremonial start of the 2018 Iditarod is scheduled for Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Anchorage, followed by the race restart in Willow the next day. The first musher is set to leave the starting line at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Original story: This Thursday night the Iditarod mushers find out in what order they'll start the race this coming weekend. The race takes the challenging southern route through the remote ghost town of Iditarod this year. There is plenty of snow for the official start in Willow, but out on the coast, there is open water in Norton Sound, and the trail route over the sea ice there has had to be moved inland.
Contending teams from the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta include: Peter Kaiser, who has been competing since 2010, finishing as high as 5th place; Mike Williams Jr. of Aniak, who did not finish last year but finished in 8th place in 2012; and Richie Diehl of Aniak, who started competing in 2013 and has finished as high as 12th place. For the ceremonial start in Anchorage on Saturday, Diehl will be carrying a passenger: a child sponsored by the Make-a-Wish Foundation.