Six Kenai Peninsula mushers are registered to compete in the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race including a former champion and a rookie.
The race’s ceremonial start will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday on 4th Avenue in Anchorage. The race restart is 2 p.m. in Willow on Sunday.
Longtime veterans Paul Gebhardt, of Kasilof, and Sterling’s Mitch Seavey will be joined by fellow Peninsula mushers Kristy and Anna Berington, both of Kasilof, Matt Giblin of Sterling and Travis Beals, of Seward, a rookie.
Seavey, who won this year’s Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race in early February, won the Iditarod in 2004 and has finished 10 times in the race’s top 10. In 2012, he finished the race in seventh place. Seavey has finished in the race’s top 10 every year he has raced it since his 2004 win, save for 2011 when he scratched.
Seavey’s son, Conway, finished second in the Junior Iditarod earlier in the week. Conway won the T100.
Dallas Seavey, who attended Skyview High School but now lives in Willow, is registered for this year’s race. He won the 2012 Iditarod and finished in the top 10 four years in a row since 2009.
Gebhardt, who took 15th place in the 2012 Iditarod, will look for his first championship this year. He has seven top 10 finishes in the race since he first ran it in 1996. Gebhardt took fourth place in this year’s T200.
Kristy Berington has run the Iditarod three years in a row, seeing her best finish in 29th place in 2011. She finished ninth in the T200.
Anna Berington finished the 2012 Iditarod in 42nd place. She finished 16th in this year’s T200.
Giblin first ran the Iditarod as a rookie in 1998 and finished 50th. He did not race again until 2011, when he finished in 40th place. He was disqualified after finishing the 2012 race.
Beals, an Iditarod rookie, finished eighth in the T200. The 21-year-old Seward resident finished second in the Junior Iditarod in 2009.
Brian Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.