February 20, 2013

The Iditarod is Nearly Here!

Iditarod Race

The Iditarod is one of the last truly amazing races on Earth.  It takes place on nearly 1000 miles of some of the world's roughest terrain between Fairbanks and Anchorage, Alaska.  This will be the 41st Iditarod and is sure to be an amazing race, as usual.  

The History

The race takes place on the Iditarod National Historical Trail which was, at one time, the main path of travel during the winter season.  Dog sleds would deliver essential necessities to towns along the Iditarod Trail.  There are two sections of the trail: the northern, which is used in the even years, and the southern, which is used in the odd years. The main purposes behind this race were to preserve the sled dog culture and Alaskan Huskies, which were becoming obsolete since the invention of the snow mobile.  

Iditarod Today

The first Saturday in March of every year the Iditarod race begins.  On average 65 teams race through the wilderness in search for a win.  The racers, just like in any other sport, will receive sponsorships and various other funding to race and win.  What once started as a fun challenge is now a career and many racers can live comfortably on their money from sponsorship deals and the winnings from the race.  The top 20 racers receive cash prizes, the remaining receive $1,049 to help them get home.  The money for the racers that don't finish in the top 20 is raised from the IditaRider Auction, during which fans can be a rider in a musher's sled for the first 11 miles of the race.  

On average, the race takes 9 to 12 days for the racers to navigate to the finish line and the race is not considered over until the last musher has crossed the finish line.  The fastest time to ever complete the Iditarod was 9 days, 2 hours, 42 minutes and 19 seconds, completed by Doug Swingley in 1995.

For more information about the Iditarod or to donate, visit, Iditarod.com

 

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