Six past champs, including Dallas Seavey and Thomas Waerner, sign up for the 2022 Iditarod

Six champions — including one who will be vying for an unprecedented sixth championship — signed up for the 2022 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday.

A total of 48 mushers have entered the 50th edition of the 1,000-mile race from Anchorage to Nome, scheduled to begin on March 5. Saturday marked the first day of signups, which will be accepted until Nov. 30, according to the 2022 race rules.

Among them is Dallas Seavey of Talkeetna, who sailed to his fifth title in March to tie Rick Swenson as the race’s winningest musher.

Among those challenging him is Thomas Waerner of Norway, the decisive winner of the 2020 race who was unable to return to defend his title this year because of travel restrictions during the pandemic.

[After a long battle with the Iditarod to regain his reputation, Dallas Seavey calls wins No. 5 ‘icing on the cake’]

Other returning champions include four-time winner Martin Buser of Big Lake, three-time winner Mitch Seavey of Seward (Dallas’ dad), 2019 champion Pete Kaiser of Bethel and 2018 champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom of Norway.

Notable absences include four-time champion Jeff King of Denali Park and fan favorite Aliy Zirkle, who announced her retirement prior to the the 2021 race.

Numerous other contenders are entered, including 2021 runnerup Aaron Burmeister of Nenana and Nome, Richie Diehl of Aniak, Ryan Redington of Knik, Brent Sass of Eureka and Nic Petit of Girdwood.

2022 Iditarod mushers

Ryan Redington, Knik

Eric Kelly, Wasilla (R)

Jeff Deeter, Fairbanks

Katti Jo Deeter, Fairbanks (R)

Riley Dyche, Fairbanks

Julie Ahnen, Cantwell (R)

Bridgett Watkins, Fairbanks (R)

Amanda Otto, Denali (R)

Joe Taylor, Fairbanks (R)

Aaron Burmeister, Nome/Nenana

Rob Cooke, Whitehorse, Yukon

Mats Pettersson, Sweden

Jessie Royer, Fairbanks

Michelle Phillips, Tagish, Yukon

Meredith Mapes, Palmer

Jason Campeau, Alberta

Matt Hall, Two Rivers

Richie Diehl, Aniak

Brent Sass, Eureka

Dan Kaduce, Chatanika

Thomas Waerner, Norway

Martin Massicotte, Quebec

Anja Radano, Talkeetna

Demchenko Ivanovich, Russia (R)

Jaye Foucher, New Hampshire (R)

Martin Buser, Big Lake

Mitch Seavey, Seward

Anna Berington, Knik

Kristy Berington, Knik

Lev Shvarts, Willow

Will Troshynski, Fairbanks

Mille Porsild, Denmark

Wade Marrs, Willow

Dallas Seavey, Talkeetna

Deke Naaktgeboren, Fairbanks

Joar Leifseth Ulsom, Norway

Hanna Lyrek, Norway (R)

Jessie Holmes, Cantwell

Paige Drobny, Cantwell

Cody Strathe, Fairbanks

Ryne Olson, Two Rivers

Ramey Smyth, Willow

Richie Beattie, Two Rivers

Matthew Failor, Willow

Cindy Gallea, Wykoff, Minnesota

Jessica Klejka, Wasilla

Aaron Peck, Grande Prairie, Alberta

Nicolas Petit, Girdwood