ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Iditarod has been through a controversial couple of months, but Saturday 16 rookie mushers made their way to the Lake Front Hotel for the races mandatory rookie meeting.
This year’s class has mushers hailing from Alaska, Iowa, Michigan, Montana, New York, Nova Scotia and British Columbia.
“I’ve been planning on doing the Iditarod for a couple of years now,” said Matt Hall reigning Yukon Quest champion.
The Two Rivers musher says he has been mushing for as long as he can remember, and the same can be said for fellow rookie musher Shaynee Traska.
“A lot of excitement it’s been my dream to run this race for 20 years since I was a 9 year old girl,” said Traska.
The Michigan native has competed in many mid distance races but is ready to take on a new challenge.
“It’s just a journey for us being out there with my best friends seeing some beautiful country, and meeting a lot of the native villagers along the way,” said Traska.
Iditarod head race official Mark Nordman says trail conditions are looking better than they have in the past.
“We are going to take the southern route the next three years, but we have a fair amount of work ahead of us,” said Nordman.
Iditarod race registration ended December 1st, and currently there are 64 mushers signed up.