Iditarod Food and Supplies Ready for Checkpoint Delivery


by Stevie French

ANCHORAGE - Wednesday (2/13) was the first day volunteers and mushers met to organize Iditarod food packs that will be dropped off at various checkpoints along the trail.

There are 68 teams entered in this year's Last Great Race and each team will require roughly 2,000 pounds of food and supplies.

While the majority of what is packed is high performance kibble, some mushers ensure they also take along 'creature comforts' of their own.

"I send out a lot of pizza," says Ray Redington, Jr. who is preparing for his 12th Iditarod. "I take a lot of stuff from home that I like to eat. You don't have a lot of time but you might as well enjoy it."

It is important to note that most, if not all, of those who help prepare the packs are volunteers.

"The people doing this have done this for many years," says head veterinarian Stuart Nelson. "They know the routine and they're good at what they do."

And while some enjoy helping out on the trail, many experienced volunteers prefer to lend a hand before the start.

"I went out to Galena in 1998," says Larry Cheso, an experienced Iditarod volunteer. "That was enough for me. I prefer to stay in town and work behind the scenes."

Most of the food and supplies will be put on a plane by the end of the week and will fly directly to each of the 24 stops along the trail for storage until the start of the race.

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