Coast Guard sponsors 10-year Iditarod musher again

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The Coast Guard is proudly sponsoring 10-year Iditarod race veteran Ken Anderson in his 2011 Iditarod race attempt extending 1,150 miles from Anchorage to Nome. U.S. Coast Guard illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley

The Coast Guard is proudly sponsoring 10-year Iditarod race veteran Ken Anderson in his 2011 Iditarod race attempt. U.S. Coast Guard illustration by Petty Officer 1st Class David Mosley

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Coast Guard is proudly sponsoring the 10-year Iditarod Trail Sled Dog racing veteran, Ken Anderson, in his 2011 Iditarod race attempt extending 1,150 miles from Anchorage to Nome beginning Saturday.

Anderson was sponsored by the Coast Guard in 2009 and has finished the Iditarod race in the top five three times, with fourth place finishes in 2008 and 2010. He recently placed third in the 2011 Yukon Quest Sled Dog Race.

Anderson will be flying the Coast Guard banner from his sled during his 11th Iditarod known also as “The last great race on Earth.”

“It’s a huge honor for one of our nation’s prestigious military services to sponsor me,” said Anderson. “During the Iditarod race it’s one team in a remote area with no help nearby, and the Coast Guard knows this as they often fly alone into inclement weather throughout remote regions of Alaska.”

In November 1897, after learning of 265 whalers being stranded in the Arctic, the Revenue Cutter Bear led by Capt. Francis Tuttle sailed from Port Townsend, Wash. Too late in the year for the cutter to push through the Bering Sea ice, it was decided the rescue party must go overland by dog sled, stop at a station to obtain reindeer and enlist Alaskan Natives to assist. Led by Lt. David H. Jarvis and second-in-command was Lt. Ellsworth P. Bertholf, the Overland Expedition left from Cape Vancouver, Alaska, on Dec. 16, 1897.

After 1,500 miles, the group reached Point Barrow on March 29, 1898, with 382 reindeer saving the whalers. The following summer, the cutter Bear reached Point Barrow and the expedition officers rejoined their ship.

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