Iditarod Facts

The Iditarod is the world’s most famous dog sled race. It is an annual race that starts on the first Saturday of March in Anchorage, Alaska and ends in Nome, Alaska. The annual race crosses the Alaska Range and Kuskokwim Mountains range. See the fact file below for more information about Iditarod.
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  • The Iditarod is know as the “Last Great Race on Earth.”
  • It is a race over 1150 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer.
  • It takes place in Alaska with temperatures that reach far below zero, and with winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility. The long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs also make this race very difficult and dangerous.
  • In 1925, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for Nome, Alaska. The city was stricken with diphtheria and serum had to be brought in. Dog mushers and their faithful hard-driving dogs were the ones to get the medicine through to Nome.
  • The race begins in Wasilla, Alaska. The race route is alternated every other year, one year going north through Cripple, Ruby and Galena, the next year south through Iditarod, Shageluk, Anvik. It ends in Nome where a hero’s welcome is the custom for racers 1 through 61 who finish.
  • The mushers compete for $69,000 and a new truck.
  • Each musher can have 16 dogs that they must care for and feed throughout the race.
  • The race lasts between 9 to 15 days. It takes place the first Saturday in March.
  • The Iditarod is named after the Iditarod Trail that the race takes place on. Iditarod is an Indian name meaning ‘clear water’.
  • There are certain pieces of equipment each team must have. The musher must have an arctic parka, a heavy sleeping bag, an ax, snowshoes, musher food, dog food and boots for each dog’s feet to protect against cutting ice and hard packed snow injuries. When the mushers pull into each checkpoint at night, the very first thing they do is care for and feed their dogs.