Hundreds of dog mushers have run the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race during its 45-year history. Many of them have become fan favorites. One who has become a legend will retire her pink parka following the 2018 race. She will be among the horde starting out on Anchorage’s Fourth Avenue bound for Nome at Saturday’s ceremonial start. The race will restart at Willow on Sunday. Her team will definitely get the most attention of those entered. For DeeDee Jonrowe her 36th run will not be a competition but a farewell tour crowning a racing career that has spanned some 40 years. She placed second in 1993, 1996 and 1998. A bridesmaid three times, she has never won the Iditarod. But the accolades that have come her way far outweigh that one little blemish. Taking the trail for one last time will give her a chance to express her appreciation to the people along the route, her fans everywhere, and the many volunteers and sponsors who have supported the race over the years, she has said. It will be an emotional time for the beloved musher as well as for her fans.
Anchorage’s Fur Rendezvous had its beginnings in 1935 and continues today, suspended during World War II and revived in 1946. According to Elmer Rasmuson’s Memoirs in Volume II of Banking on Alaska, the event now known affectionately as “Rondy” was inspired by the winter carnival in Fairbanks. Plans were formed by three men during their return by train to Anchorage.