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Iditarod 2019, Days 1-2: A Start, a Re-Start, and ‘a Lot of Snow’

The 47th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is officially underway as of Sunday afternoon, March 3, after the on-the-clock restart from Willow and the Ceremonial Start in Anchorage on Saturday morning.

Here are highlights of KNOM’s coverage of the “Last Great Race” from over the weekend, including photos of the Ceremonial Start, a trail weather forecast from climatologist Rick Thoman, and KNOM’s on-air update from Sunday night.


  • The roster of competitors in 2019 is the “smallest field of mushers starting an Iditarod in decades,” reports Ben Matheson for KNOM in the Sunday night story “2019 Iditarod Underway; 52 Mushers Departed Willow Sunday.” The smaller field doesn’t mean the competition will be less, however, says veteran musher and frequent front-runner Aliy Zirkle. Ben also captures pre-race impressions with mushers Matt Hall, Martin Buser, and Jessica Klejka. Hall says he’s anticipating “a lot of snow” on the trail, likely making for relatively slower running conditions. That matches the predictions of race officials: the snow cover is expected to be “better than average,” Ben reports.

On-Air Updates

Davis Hovey and Katie Kazmierski survey the early state of the race in the 6pm Iditarod Update on Sunday, March 3, on KNOM AM/FM:

Weather Forecast from Rick Thoman

Southcentral Alaska weather conditions should be “ideal” for the first 24 hours of the race, says University of Alaska–Fairbanks climate expert Rick Thoman:

Photos (Ceremonial Start)

All photos from KNOM’s Ben Matheson and Alaska Public Media’s Zachariah Hughes.

Image at top: Aliy Zirkle at Saturday’s Ceremonial Start in Anchorage. Photo: Ben Matheson, KNOM / Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media.

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Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.