Ryan Redington will be first musher on 2017 Iditarod Trail

(Photo: Matthew Smith, KNOM)

Ryan Redington will be the first musher to hit the trail Monday morning in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The grandson of Iditarod race founder Joe Redington, Sr., the younger Redington pulled bib #2 from a mukluk at the Iditarod Mushers’ Drawing Banquet Thursday night.

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In Saturday’s ceremonial start in Anchorage, Redington will follow the honorary musher, Leo Rasmussen, down Fourth Avenue. Rasmussen has been the checker under the Burled Arch in Nome since the race began. Rasmussen served as president of the Iditarod board of directors and organizes the “trail mail” program.

72 mushers are slated to run their teams from Fairbanks to Nome. Race officials rerouted the trail over safety concerns due to low snow conditions in the Alaska Range earlier this year.

Three-time defending champion Dallas Seavey drew bib number 18.

Ben Matheson is a contributor with the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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