HELENA – The 2019 Race to the Sky will kick off on Saturday February 9 as planned in Lincoln, MT.
Organizers say they’re prepared for the subzero temperatures and noted that the the first race ran back in 1986 was -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Race Secretary Pam Beckstrom hopes people can make it out to cheer on the racers during the 2:00 p.m. race start at High Country Trading Post.
Warm food and drinks will be available at the start of the race but attendees are asked to dress for the cold weather.
20 teams will be competing in this year’s races and two teams will be competing in the 2019 Iditarod on March 2.
Each musher is required to carry arctic grade gear on their sled for safety.
Organizers noted that everyone competing is a veteran who have raced in equally cold or colder temperatures through their careers.
Beckstrom said they take the health of the mushers and the animals very seriously and will be closely monitoring the teams to make sure everyone is safe.
“We have a nurse practitioner that will be at the checkpoints and we’ll be watching for things like hypothermia or getting frostbite,” said Beckstrom.
This year’s race is dedicated to Jack Beckstrom who was an original organizer and has been part of every single race until his death last year.
More information about the races, the mushers and updates can be found on the Race to the Sky Website. http://racetothesky.org/