Statement from Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach regarding the 2021 Iditarod ceremonial start

A Ramey Smyth dog jumps to go at the start line on 4th avenue during the ceremonial start of the 2019 Iditarod in downtown Anchorage, Alaska on Saturday March 2. Photo by Jeff Schultz


While the Iditarod believes the future does not belong to the fainthearted, we take the health and well-being of our racers, volunteers, staff, and spectators very seriously. After consulting with our stakeholders and in consultation with the Municipality of Anchorage, we decided to cancel our traditional ceremonial start in Anchorage due to the COVID-19 concerns of a large gathering.

The Iditarod looks forward to its 50th anniversary event in Anchorage to be held Saturday, March 5, 2022. For now, it’s up to all Alaskans to come together and embrace the spirit of the 20 mushers who travelled the Iditarod Trail to Nome in 1925 to deliver the precious life-saving diphtheria serum. Let’s all do our part and make sure we wear our masks, practice social distancing, wash our hands, and keep our spirits high.


Keep checking for additional race updates and travel guidance.