Iditarod Inservice


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Introduces a unit lesson plan on designing the next Great Race based on the Iditarod.

Published in: Education, Lifestyle, Sports
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  • For the dogs, the Iditarod is a bottomless pit of suffering. What happens to them during the race includes death, paralysis, frostbite (where it hurts the most!), bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. At least 142 dogs have died in the Iditarod, including two dogs on Dr. Lou Packer's team who froze to death in the brutally cold winds. FOR MORE FACTS, go to the Sled Dog Action Coalition website:
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Iditarod Inservice

  1. 1. Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race The Last Great Race Anchorage from above
  2. 2. Race Basics <ul><li>Anchorage to Nome* </li></ul><ul><li>1 human,16 dogs </li></ul><ul><li>1049** miles </li></ul><ul><li>28 checkpoints </li></ul>Nome looking SE over Bering Sea
  3. 3. The Gold Rush
  4. 4. Serum run of 1925 <ul><li>Years before the birth of the Iditarod, 20 mushers teamed up for a relay race 674 miles from Nenana to Nome to save the lives of the children of Nome. In 1925 diphtheria was diagnosed and the only serum was in Anchorage. The only two planes available were in Fairbanks and had been dismantled and stored for the winter. Many thought dog teams were the only reliable answer. </li></ul><ul><li>The serum left Anchorage by train headed to Nenana where the package was given to Wild Bill Shannon, the first of 20 mushers. </li></ul><ul><li>Near midnight, Shannon started his nine dogs on the 52-mile trip where he would hand the serum to another musher. The temperature was 35 degrees below zero. Shannon and 19 other mushers, including champion racer Leonhard Seppala got to Nome on February 2, just one week after leaving Anchorage and 127 1/2 hours from Nenana. </li></ul><ul><li>Balto, a lead dog owned by Seppala, was memorialized with a statue in Central Park in New York City. Seppala always felt that his lead dog, Togo, didn't get enough recognition for his effort. After Togo died, Seppala had him mounted and he is now on display at Iditarod® Headquarters in Wasilla. Balto is on display in Cleveland at the Museum of Natural History. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  5. 5. Race Beginnings <ul><li>In 1967, Joe Redington, Sr. joined with Dorothy Page, an Alaskan interested in history, to celebrate dog sleds. A sled dog race was held, and it was extended to Nome in 1973, with part of it following the old Iditarod Trail. The race became known as the &quot;The Last Great Race on Earth&quot; , and Joe Redington and Dorothy Page were known as the 'father and mother of the Iditarod&quot;. </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Trail <ul><li>Even Year Trail Odd Year Trail 2003 Trail* </li></ul>
  7. 7. 1049 Miles* <ul><li>The actual race route may be as long as 1170 miles, depending on how the trail breakers set the course. </li></ul><ul><li>The race is always longer than 1000 miles; the distance of 1049 was chosen because Alaska was the 49th state to join the United States. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Dog Sled or Sled Dogs Dogs are faster than horses over the long haul, capable of maintaining average speeds of 8-12mph an hour for hundreds of miles (including rest stops) Can exceed twenty miles an hour or more on shorter sprints Lighter than heavy draft animals Can be fed with native fish and game rather than expensive hay and grain
  9. 9. General Requirements <ul><li>Arctic Parka </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy Sleeping Bag </li></ul><ul><li>Ax </li></ul><ul><li>Snowshoes </li></ul><ul><li>Musher Food </li></ul><ul><li>Dog Food </li></ul><ul><li>Cooker and Fuel </li></ul><ul><li>Dog Booties </li></ul><ul><li>Vet Log </li></ul>
  10. 10. Logos <ul><li>Original design by Alaskan Artist Bil DeVine </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Merchandising
  12. 12. Meet the Mushers Charlie Boulding Martin Busser Dee Dee Jonrowe Tyrell Seavey Jessica Hendricks
  13. 14. Special Awards <ul><li>Golden Harness Award- awarded to the best lead dog as voted on by the mushers </li></ul><ul><li>Sportsmanship Award </li></ul><ul><li>Most Inspirational Musher </li></ul><ul><li>Leonhard Seppala Award- given to the musher who takes the best care of his team voted on by the veterinarians </li></ul><ul><li>Red Lantern Award- Last place (but must remain competative, the Widow’s Lamp </li></ul>
  14. 15. Other Iditarod Activities <ul><li>I-Did-a-What </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Race </li></ul><ul><li>Excel dog food graphs </li></ul><ul><li>Pan for gold </li></ul><ul><li>Mushing around the school </li></ul><ul><li>Iditarod Number Puzzle </li></ul>Follow along with a leader board
  15. 16. Community Service <ul><li>Make dog biscuits for local animal shelter </li></ul><ul><li>Collect newspaper or food </li></ul><ul><li>Adopt a musher </li></ul><ul><li>Make booties </li></ul><ul><li>Reader’s theater for younger grades </li></ul>
  16. 17. Alternate Activity <ul><li>Develop an ad campaign to promote animal welfare with each of the components of the race project </li></ul>1 st Research both sides of the issue; get the facts Animal regulation; Laws protecting animal rights Overpopulation; spay & neuter programs Vaccination policies
  17. 18. Further Reading <ul><li>Children’s Books </li></ul><ul><li>Danger the Yard Cat </li></ul><ul><li>by Libby Riddles </li></ul><ul><li>Storm Run </li></ul><ul><li>by Libby Riddles </li></ul><ul><li>One Second to Glory </li></ul><ul><li>by Lew Freedman </li></ul><ul><li>Togo </li></ul><ul><li>by Robert J. Blake </li></ul><ul><li>Spirit of the Wind </li></ul><ul><li>by Lew Freedman </li></ul><ul><li>Where's the Boss </li></ul><ul><li>by Lois Harter </li></ul><ul><li>Back of the Pack </li></ul><ul><li>by Don Bowers </li></ul><ul><li>Older Readers </li></ul><ul><li>Murder on the Iditarod Trail </li></ul><ul><li>by Sue Henry </li></ul><ul><li>Yukon Poems of Robert Service , Sourdough Edition </li></ul><ul><li>Iditarod - The Great Race to Nome by Scherwonit/Schultz </li></ul><ul><li>Race Across Alaska </li></ul><ul><li>by Libby Riddles </li></ul>
  18. 19. Math <ul><li>compare food prices </li></ul><ul><li>map distances </li></ul><ul><li>mph </li></ul><ul><li>conversions of distances </li></ul><ul><li>calculate weights of food needed </li></ul><ul><li>cost to musher to prepare </li></ul><ul><li>cost v. purses </li></ul>Problem solving with
  19. 20. Science <ul><li>Insulation experiments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a parka with bubble wrap </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insulation factors of various materials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Weather </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wind chill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Storm tracker </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aurora Borealis </li></ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Northern Lights Photo warp </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Creative writing activities <ul><li>Northern Lights Myth </li></ul><ul><li>Musher biographies </li></ul><ul><li>“ You know you’re from Alaska when…” </li></ul><ul><li>Write to a musher </li></ul><ul><li>Daily Log (Musher words) </li></ul><ul><li>Dog Stories </li></ul>
  21. 22. And Remember… <ul><li>If you’re not the lead dog, the scenery never changes. </li></ul>