Dog Sledding- The Iditarod
The annual Iditarod race has begun! For those of you who don’t know, the Iditarod is a trail sled dog race that originated back to 1973. This year 86 mushers will travel from Anchorage to Nome alaska, a grueling 1,000+ miles. The racers face many dangers on the trail from being stranded due to an injury or illness to the wildlife attacking the team. This sport is not for the faint of heart. Good luck teams!
10 fun facts about Dog Sledding
- Sled dogs can run up to 20 mph
- There are 16 dogs to a team for the Iditarod
- Alaskan huskies are primarily used for racing rather than siberian husky.
- Sled dogs are controlled by voice commands not reins
- Dog sledding is not just a winter sport, It can also be done without snow using wheeled carts. This allows for the team to stay in peak performance all year round.
- The Iditarod is also known as “the last great race”
- Entry fees, supplies, travel and pet care for the Iditarod can cost upwards of $16,000. The entry fee alone is $3,000. Yikes!
- The word Iditarod means distant place
- Dog mushing is the official state sport of Alaska
- The team who finishes last in the Iditarod receives the red lantern award. According to Iditarod.com “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”
Check out these amazing images from this years race!
If you would like to read more about this years musher teams or would like to keep track of what is going on in the race, check out the official website http://iditarod.com/ for more information.