What is the Iditarod? The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Raceis an annual sled dog team race acrossAlaska. Mushers and a team of powerful dogs travel 1,049 miles fromAnchorage to Nome.
The first Iditarod race to Nome started March 3, 1973. Dick Wilmarth – the 1st Iditarod Winner
Who Let The Dogs Out?The teams average 16 dogs, which means over 1,000 dogs leave Anchorage for Nome.
Mush On!Each team of dogs is led by a MUSHER who is the driver of the dogsleds. Each musher endures extreme weather conditions and travels over 1,000 miles in 9-15 days with little sleep. They are responsible for caring for and feeding all of the dogs.
Checkpoints There are 26 checkpoints, or stops on the northernroute, the first in Anchorage and the last in Nome. On the southern route, there are 27 checkpoints.
This is the 2012northern route 2013 This is the southern route
DISTANCE “1,049 miles®” has been a symbolic figure from theinception of the race to signify the 1,000 miles or more of race trail and the number 49 depicts Alaska as the 49th state. 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:• change in the Ceremonial Start (Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip)• change of the Restart location (Wasilla to Willow)• The actual year to year trail conditions can affect trail routing and the actual mileage will vary somewhat from year to year.
What does the Iditarod Symbolize?In 1925, the people of Nome, Alaska, were very sick. If they didn’t get the medicine they needed, theywould die. The medicine was in another town – 650miles away – and the only way to get it to Nome was by dogsled. Several teams took turns carrying the medicine along the dangerous trail. The medicinefinally made it to Nome , and many lives were saved. Today the Iditarod Trail follows part of that famous path Balto
To the Finish Line!!!!Not every dog finishes the race. Sometimes a musheror veterinarian decides that the dog is not strongenough to finish the race. The dog is then DROPPEDfrom the race and cared for at a nearby checkpoint.Not every musher finishes the race. If the difficult racebecomes too strenuous or musher may choose to ormay be forced to SCRATCH or drop out of the race.
Red LanternA red lantern is awarded to the last musher to finish the Iditarod. They are praised for their perseverance (determination to finish something)• The longest time for a Red Lantern was 32 days, 15 hours, nine minutes and one second by John Schultz in 1973.• The quickest Red Lantern musher Celeste Davis with a time of 13d 05h 06m 40s.
2013 Iditarod Here We Come!!!• Race Start – Anchorage — Saturday, March 2 10:00am• Race Restart – Willow — Sunday, March 3 2:00pm