The Iditarod

The Iditarod is an exciting dog sled race that attracts attention from all around the world. The adventurous race, its long history, and the controversy that surrounds it, are just a few of the elements that make up the unique world of dog sled racing.

  • History of the Iditarod: In 1967 the first version of this dog sled race took mushers over only a small portion of the Iditarod trail. The idea for the race was brought to life by an Alaskan named Dorothy G. Page. According to the information, she wanted to find a way to celebrate the role that the sled dog played in Alaskan history. As a lover of history she knew that for many years the only way to transport goods or people over the frozen landscape was via dog sled. In 1973, Dorothy Page's persistent efforts brought her dream to life and with that the first official Iditarod contestants and their teams raced toward a breathless finish in Nome, Alaska. The information further explains that in 1983 the starting line of the Iditarod was set down in Anchorage. Every March since then a dog sled team has appeared from the, "..wilderness.." to claim victory in Nome.
  • The Legacy of the Iditarod reveals the winner of the first official Iditarod race in 1973 as Dick Wilmarth, who finished the trail in twenty days. Weather conditions are always a consideration, but since 1973 the number of days spent racing toward a victory in the Iditarod has steadily dropped. History has been made several times and plenty of winning streaks have been broken in this remarkable race.

For more information on the famous contestants in the Iditarod, please visit:

  • Controversy is also a part of the Iditarod's history. At A Look at Sled Dogs the treatment of some of the dogs running in the Iditarod is brought under consideration. The information claims that due to injuries and illness suffered during the race, "..fifty percent of the dogs who start the race cannot make it across the finish line." It further conveys that the thousands of dollars in prize money and other, "..substantial financial benefits.." garnered by the winner are ample incentive to push a sled dog team to its physical limits. The information offers a list of suggestions to improve the safety of the sled dogs. It includes a call for an adequate number of (veterinarians) to conduct, "..complete and high quality physical exams at checkpoints." Another suggestion is, "..an electrocardiogram.." given by a (veterinarian) to each sled dog a week or so before the race. It stresses that the safety and well-being of the sled dogs must be considered a top priority.

More information on sled dogs and the Iditarod can be found at:

  • The Basics of the Iditarod tells about the race that takes place every year on the first Saturday of March. It's, "the longest dog sled race in the world.." covering a distance of over 1,200 miles. Other interesting facts listed are that the first prize winner of the Iditarod receives fifty thousand dollars and the ages of the mushers in the race range from, "..eighteen to eighty-one.." Most importantly, to conquer the challenges presented in the Iditarod a contestant must possess an adventurous spirit.

Additional facts about the Iditarod Race:

Every March the Iditarod race brings with it an excitement along with an amazing display of what dogs and their owners can accomplish together.