IDITAROD HOPE UPDATE: MARCH 26, 2021
On Monday, March 22nd, the official Gunnar Iditarod Hope ceremony was held in Knik, Alaska at the start of the Historic Iditarod Trail in the Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet. It was a special moment shared by Mushers Gunnar Johnson and Nicolas Petit, alongside Iditarod Legend Jim Lanier, Helen Stassen, Jay Stassen, and other friends and family.
The envelope that carried over 1,500 submitted names successfully made it across the Iditarod finish line in the dog sled of Nicolas Petit, who finished in sixth place out of 47 total mushers.
Gunnar safely handed off the envelope (pictured below) to Petit, after Gunnar unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 at the McGrath Checkpoint. Gunnar has since fully recovered from the virus.
Following the ceremony, the ashes of the burned envelope carrying the submitted names were respectfully spread on the frozen Knik Arm of the Cook Inlet, and will flow to the Gulf of Alaska and Pacific Ocean when the snow and ice melts this Spring.
Please consider supporting our amazing Alaskan-based photographer Whitney McClaren and purchasing physical and digital prints (w/o a watermark) of the ceremony from her website.
Peace, Love, and Thanks 💚
Gunnar Iditarod Hope Team 2021
IDITAROD HOPE UPDATE MARCH 13, 2021
Gunnar Johnson was withdrawn from the 2021 Iditarod Race due to a positive COVID test result at the McGrath checkpoint. Gunnar is asymptomatic and had a negative test result just before beginning his race. Gunnar is very disappointed but was able to deliver the IDITAROD HOPE 2021 envelope containing the submitted names to musher Nic Petit who will carry the names to the race conclusion. The submitted names will travel the entire race course thanks to Gunnar and Nic.
The Iditarod Hope Team plans to celebrate and complete this incredible journey to honor and support the thousands of people who are now part of Iditarod Hope on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 11:00 AM.
This situation is a poignant symbol that sometimes one person can’t do it on their own. It takes a partnership, a group or a community and the help of a friend to make it through.
Fill out our simple form and Gunnar will carry your loved ones’ names with him as he races with his sled dogs in the 2021 Iditarod. Names submitted after March 5 will be presented and included in the final ceremony but due to race preparation deadlines, will not travel with Gunnar during the race.
Your loved one’s strength and your hope for greater suicide awareness will propel Gunnar and his dogs as they take on the treacherous Iditarod course.
At the conclusion of the race, Gunnar will ceremonially “burn” the names into the infinite Alaskan sky at a tranquil ceremony. The ashes spread at the confluence of the Knik and Matanuska Rivers where they will flow into the vast Artic Seas with the Spring melt.