Alaska News

Photos: Meet the mushers of Iditarod 2016

The 85 mushers running the 2016 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race drew their starting positions Thursday night at the annual pre-race banquet at the Dena'ina Convention Center in Anchorage. We made portraits of each of them as they came off the stage.

Scott Janssen, an Anchorage funeral home director known as the "Mushin' Mortician," will be first out at Saturday's ceremonial start in Anchorage and the for-real start in Willow on Sunday afternoon. He drew No. 2. By tradition, the No. 1 bib goes to an honorary musher who rides in a sled driven by the reigning Junior Iditarod champion.

The ceremonial start begins at 10 a.m. on Fourth Avenue in downtown Anchorage, with mushers leaving every two minutes. It's been shortened from 11 miles to only three miles this year because of the lack of snow in Anchorage. The Willow start begins at 2 p.m. in the same order, with mushers also leaving every two minutes.

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More: Mushin' Mortician will lead field of 85 mushers in Iditarod start