The Iditarod Trail International Sled Dog Race has long been heralded as one of the last great races left in the world, where dog mushers from across the world attempt to be the first across the finish line–without any aid other than the canines and the supplies on their sled. All entrants must qualify for the incredible event through other races throughout the year.
The Iditarod covers over 1,000 miles that covers everything from icy mountains to forests to frozen rivers and more. It begins in Anchorage, AK, and ends in Nome, on the Bering Sea coast.
The Iditarod race is a testament to how man’s best friend helped him conquer much of the wilderness throughout Alaska, embodying the spirit of adventure, perseverance, and keen focus. It’s not just a contest, but a tribute to the countless miles dogs have helped sleds cover over the decades and centuries. It also was a way for the race organizers to help preserve the noble sled dog culture, which began to disappear as mush teams were being replaced with snowmobiles for travel and transporting supplies.
Each musher team brings their own unique strategies to the event, including their preferred schedules, supplies, and food for the dogs. However, the Iditarod does require certain items to always be involved: arctic parkas, heavy sleeping bags, axes, snowshoes, and boots to protect each dog’s feet. After all, while some may race for the glory of winning, the underlying reason is to pay tribute to mush dogs past and present–and that means caring for them the whole race long.
If you’d like to track the racers and the 1,000+ dogs involved in the event as they strive to reach the finish line, check out the Iditarod Live Blog here! Cheer them on and remember everything dogs have sacrificed to help humanity survive and thrive.
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