“The Coast Guard has a proud history here in Alaska,” said Cmdr. Darryl Verfaillie, commanding officer at Marine Safety Unit Valdez. “In our early history here in Alaska, dog sleds were used to help perform pivotal rescues of trapped whaling ship crews. We are proud to pay respect to a rich Alaska Coast Guard history by participating in this great race.”
The race is often referred to as the “Last Great Race on Earth” and has won worldwide acclaim and interest. The 1,112-mile journey starts on Mar. 6 and will travel from Anchorage to Nome crossing through 24 checkpoints along some of Alaska’s toughest terrain.
According to the race Web site, “The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born.”
Anderson has finished the race in the top five twice, with his best finish in 2008 when he placed fourth out of 97 participants. As part of the contract sponsorship agreement, Anderson’s equipment and clothing will display Coast Guard designs, patches and decals. His sled will fly the Coast Guard banner throughout the great race.
“It is an honor for me to be able to team up with the Coast Guard and help support a great organization,” said Anderson.
Stay tuned for more as Mr. Anderson competes in the 2010 Iditarod race.