Hi Boys and Girls,

The restart has just begun. The teams are off to Nome.  For yesterdays question, I asked what the difference was between the Ceremonial start and the restart.  Did you find the answer?  The Ceremonial start is on Saturday.  It goes for 11 miles and ends at the Campbell airstrip.  Each team has 12 dogs running instead of the usual 16 that run the race.  The 12 dogs for the start do not have to be dogs that are on the final team.  A dog may not have made the team but worked really hard and the musher decides to let them run for the start.  Also, every team has an iditarider who was the top bidder for a ride in the sled.  These Iditariders come from all over the world just for the chance to ride with their favorite musher and team.  Each team has a tag sled.  A tag sled is an extra sled attached behind the main sled.  The purpose is to help slow down a very excited team of dogs.  The mood on Saturday is one of fun.  The mushers are in good spirits, fans can talk to the mushers and if they’re lucky may even get to pet the dogs or play with some puppies.  When the 11 miles is completed, the mushers pack everything up and try to have a restful evening before the restart on Sunday. Below are 2 pictures from the ceremonial start taken by Jeff Schultz the official Iditarod Photographer

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The restart on Sunday is very serious.  The mushers are in an area where the fans cannot talk to them or pet their dogs.  The mushers are busy packing their sledbags and getting everything ready.  All the final preparations are made for the race. The restart is the official start and once the musher leaves the start line the race for them begins.  

So the teams are leaving the start line as I write this.  Please join with me to wish them all a great race.  

My first update will be early tomorrow morning so stay tuned.