The Iditarod Dogsled Race

Hi. This is Tina again. I like dogsled races, so I get to type this week’s Notes from the Trail. People often ask Acorn, Tank and me if we have ever been in a dogsled race. The answer is yes. Most dogsled racers use Alaskan Huskies like us. Right now there are hundreds of dogs and dozens of mushers competing in the most famous dogsled race in the world, the Iditarod. The Iditarod is about 1,000 miles long and takes teams between 8 and 14 days to complete.050306-F-7169B-001

Would you like to race in the Iditarod someday? Why or why not?

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I have not raced in the Iditarod, but my mom’s dad (my grandfather) raced in the Iditarod. You can follow the Iditarod on the internet. They even have a “teacher on the trail” that helps classrooms all over the world follow the race. The Iditarod goes from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. The teams race up and over mountain passes, through the forest, down rivers and over the sea ice and tundra. It is a very challenging race.

If you would like to run the Iditarod, what are some of the things that you would need to do to train and prepare for the race?

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The race follows the route to Nome that mushers historically followed to haul supplies across Alaska. The race also commemorates the important part that sled dogs played in the settlement of Alaska. The mushers travel from checkpoint to checkpoint much as the freight mushers did in the past. However modern dog teams move much faster than their old-time counterparts, making the trip to Nome in under ten days. Historically the freight mushers used larger dogs that are slower than the racing dogs, but are very strong and can pull a lot of supplies.

The Iditarod route

The Iditarod route

What do you think would be the hardest part of running the Iditarod?

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I’ve been following the race on the internet every year since I was a puppy. It is amazing how fast the dogs and their mushers can travel across 1,000 miles of Alaskan wilderness. We hope that you will follow the Iditarod as well.

What do you think would be the most fun, or rewarding part of running the Iditarod?

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