http://iditarod.com/ - Register for a free insider account to follow race updates, or a paid account to get access to even more.
http://www.teamsigridekran.no/ - the team you should be cheering on this year according to me. Playing favourites of course.
Who I think will win the race? Sometime next week I will start having firm opinions. There are a lot of experienced mushers participating, and it is going to be interesting to see how their teams perform this year, in the 40th Iditarod.
Interesting fact of the year is that the route is somewhat shortened, now less than 1000 miles. From iditarod.com:
Note: As of 2012 the Northern Route distance is approximately 975 miles. In prior years the distance was always over 1,000 miles. Three things factor into this adjustment:
The change in the Ceremonial Start (running from downtown Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip instead of Eagle River);
The change of the Restart location from Wasilla to Willow (loss of the Wasilla-Knik-Susitna River and some Yentna River mileage), and;
The actual year to year trail conditions can affect trail routing and the actual mileage will vary somewhat from year to year.
“1,049 miles®” has been a symbolic figure from the inception of the race to signify the 1,000 miles or more of race trail and the number 49 depicts Alaska as the 49th state.
The route varies between the "northern" and the "southern" route every second year. This year it is the northern route. Direct link to the route this year: http://iditarod.com/race/checkpoints/
Useless as of yet, but later on going to be interesting - the direct link to the current standings page: http://iditarod.com/race/current-standings/
The rules include 2x 8h layovers and one 24h layover. One of the 8h layovers are always at White Mtn, the location of the other two are optional but they have to be taken. During the 24h layover the time differences from the start are adjusted for. When looking at the current standings, keeping an eye on who's taken their mandatory layovers and who didn't yet plays into who is actually leading the race.
Ready for the fun? I certainly am.