Iditarod Dogsled Race

Alaska’s Iditarod dogsled race: like the Birkebeiner, threatened by climate change.


Though I love the outdoors and stories of how to survive nature’s tricks, count me as not being an Iditarod fan. While I know those dogs love to run, it is unfair to run them into the ground, on purpose. The heroic trip commemorated by the race, however, is a truly incredible story, well worth a trip to Wikipedia and a few minutes of your time. Learn about the lead dogs Balto and Togo, the risky short cut across the water, the lifesaving serum and all the rest.

Of interest, as the Itarod begins this weekend, is that there is little snow; reminiscent of the recent Birkebeiner ski race in Wisconsin, much of the trail is bare, and some parts of the race preliminaries have already been truncated. .

Given the tough trail conditions this year — hard-packed snow and bare ground — King said he expects a bumpy ride. That’s not a problem, he said.
“The Iditarod trail will never be easy,” King said.

Too little fresh snow shortened the ceremonial start to an 11-mile run ending in Anchorage. The restart, where the mushers get serious about racing, begins Sunday in Willow, about 50 miles northwest of Anchorage.

This year’s race carries a $795,000 purse for the top 30 finishers. The winner will get approximately $69,000 and a brand new pickup truck worth about $41,000. The mushers who finish out of the money will receive about $1,000 each to help with the cost of flying their dogs home.
Good luck, you huskies.


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