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Table of Contents
- The term ‘Iditarod’ was derived from the Athabaskan word haiditarod, which means far distant place.
- Prior to the arrival of Russian fur traders in the 1800s, Native Alaskan Eskimos, Inupiaq and Athabaskan people used parts of the Iditarod Trail. By 1898, gold and coal miners started to explore the area after the Alaska gold rush in Nome.
- During the winter of 1908, Allan “Scotty” Alexander Allan started the All-Alaska Sweepstakes. Two years later, the event introduced Siberian huskies, which became more popular racing dogs.
- Walter Goodwin surveyed the main route of the Iditarod Trail. The trail from Seward to Nome extends 1,510km, while the entire network covers a total of 3,940km.
- In 1914, Leonhard Seppala, a Norwegian immigrant took part in his first All-Alaska Sweepstakes. He never finished, but the following year through to 1917, he won.
- The Serum Run to Nome, also known as the Great Race of Mercy, happened in 1925 and became the most famous Alaskan mushing story in history. Sled dogs ran in relays to deliver the supply of antitoxin to Nome when a diphtheria epidemic threatened the town.
Iditarod Race and Traditions
- By the 1970s, the trail was composed of two routes: The longer northern route, which is run on even-numbered years, and the additional southern route, which is run on odd-numbered years. Both follow the trail from Anchorage to Ophir but diverge from there and meet again at Kaltag.
- Checkpoints and restart locations are occasionally dropped and added, depending on the weather. There are 25 checkpoints on the northern route and 26 checkpoints on the southern route.
- On March 3, 1973, the first Iditarod Race to Nome started. In 1974, Carl Huntington won the race in 20 days, 15 hours, 2 minutes and 7 second, the slowest winning time in the race’s history.
- In 1986, Susan Butcher set a new record after finishing the northern route in 11 days, 15 hours and 6 minutes. She broke her own record again in 1987 and 1990. Doug Swingley set a new record in 1995 of 9 days, 2 hours and 42 minutes. Swingley was the first musher from outside of Alaska to win the Iditarod Race.
- Mitch Seavey, with his lead dogs Pilot and Crisp, holds the current record of finishing the 2017 race in 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes and 13 seconds.
- Rick Swenson is the only person to win the Iditarod Race in different decades. In addition, he holds the record of winning The Last Great Race five times; 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1991.
- There are over 1,000 dogs that leave Anchorage because teams consist of an average of 16 dogs.
- The youngest musher to run the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is Dallas Seavey, who turned 18 on March 4, 2005.
- The tradition of lighting a Widow’s Lamp happens on the first Sunday in March, at the trail’s end in Nome. When the last musher crosses the finished line, officials extinguish the lamp, symbolizing the end of the race. The tradition of the Widow’s Lamp originated when dog drivers of mail-carrying sled dogs used the light of kerosene lamps outside roadhouses as their guide.
- Another Alaskan tradition is the awarding of the Red Lantern for the last place finisher of the race.
- Some of the most common breeds of sled dogs are Alaskan husky (Indian dogs), Alaskan Malamute, Canadian Eskimo, Chinook, Samoyed, and Siberian husky.
- Each year, more than 50 mushers join the race. Most of them are from rural Central Alaska. There are only a small percentage of participants from overseas. In order to qualify for the Iditarod Race, mushers are required to first participate in three smaller races.
- After musher John Suter joined the race with his European poodles, the organization handling the race insisted that only northern breed dogs could race. It was meant to protect the welfare of dogs not suited for cold-weather racing.
This bundle is what we like to call one of our BUMPER bundles with over 42 pages of worksheets all ready-to-use. These worksheets are perfect for students to learn 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.
Worksheet Pack 1:
- Iditarod Race Facts
- The Greatest Race
- To the Finish Line
- Winter Vocabulary
- Winter Sports
- Mushing Position
- All About Dogs
- Iditarod Task Cards
- Women of the Iditarod
- Odd One Out
- For or Against Mushing?
Worksheet Pack 2:
- Hardy Pups
- Anatomy of a Dog Sled
- Sled Dog Qualities
- Movie/Documentary Critique
- Word Building
- Iditarod Records
- Taking Care of your Dogs
- Big Working Dogs
- Key Answers
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Link will appear as The Iditarod Dog Race 2019 Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, February 25, 2019
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