The Iditarod Alphabet 2017
V is for Volunteers
A volunteer is a person who freely offers to do something. The Iditarod is an event that could not go on without the volunteers that come out from around the world. At every checkpoint there are volunteer veterinarians, trail crew, and communications people who keep the race going. In Anchorage and Nome there are many volunteers who staff the communications rooms and make sure the website is up to date. And each village has been wonderful and volunteering their time as well.
Volunteers make the Iditarod go ‘round! Without the dedication of hundreds of volunteers the race wouldn’t be what it is today. People from around the country and the world come back year after year to dedicate 1-2 weeks to the Last Great Race on Earth. Here are the different volunteer positions the Iditarod needs each year:
Volunteer Registration Desk: Check-in volunteers in Anchorage and make sure they have all their paperwork in before heading out on the trail.
Anchorage Call Center: The call center is open during regular business hours and the volunteers answer questions about the race, mushers, and other Iditarod related topics.
Dropped Dog: Dropped dogs volunteers help take care of the dogs that mushers have dropped from their team throughout the race. A veterinarian is also there to help these volunteers.
Race Communications (Anchorage): These communication volunteers assist those out on the trail and update the race website.
Race Communications (Trail): These communication volunteers work with volunteers coming in and out of the checkpoint, keep the trail crew informed of a musher arriving, and update Anchorage communications on everything that is happening at their checkpoint. A trail communications volunteer is usually out on the trail for 10-14 days.
Race Stats: These volunteers help with all the data that comes in from the checkpoints: times, dog count, en route times, etc. This is based in Anchorage and they work closely with the Anchorage communications team.
Trail Crew: This group of volunteers are some of the hardest working out there. They check in and out all the mushers, get the drop bags ready, pull over straw for the dogs, etc.
There are many other volunteer jobs throughout the race including dog handler, security at the start line, trail breaker, trail sweep, pilot, and more!
What volunteer job do you think would be the most challenging? The easiest? Why?
Mushers coming into Elim!