The Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc. is a 501 C (3) organization supported by sponsors, members and volunteers. Your contribution to “The Last Great Race on Earth” is vital to the sustainability of the organization. If you are a volunteer and not an ITC member, we would encourage you to become one. Your membership keeps the heritage and tradition of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race alive for future generations to enjoy. Several volunteer positions are reserved for ITC members. Become a member.
All volunteers are required to pick up Race Credentials and sign a release form (PDF 44k) before checking in with individual coordinators for assignments. There is a mandatory $10.00 registration fee (waived for current Iditarod Trail committee members, see membership information at this link.) which ensures that all volunteers have coverage under the insurance plan, described below.
- The ITC secondary accident insurance plan provides certain benefits, including medical expense coverage, in the event that an individual is injured while performing volunteer duties/responsibilities on behalf of the race. In the event of an incident resulting in injury, immediately report to your coordinator to fill out an incident report. This must be done within 24 hours of the incident in order to be submitted to our insurance company.
The volunteer desk will be opened at the Millennium Hotel in Anchorage from Monday, February 24th – Wednesday, March 12th, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM. For those volunteering only in Nome, for your convenience, a volunteer desk will be set up in the Mini Convention Center beginning March 9th. Nome volunteers need not register at the Millennium registration desk.
Volunteers looking for housing while in Anchorage, consider supporting race sponsor, the Millennium Alaskan Hotel. Special benefits are being offered to volunteers that cannot be beat. Not only will you be in the middle of race headquarters 24/7, but your room rates are just $69 per night. Free wi-fi throughout the hotel will also be available. (2014 Rate link coming soon)
Information for those applying for volunteer positions with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
Thank you for your interest to become an Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Volunteer! There are a variety of volunteer opportunities involved with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. After you have read this information, please click on the volunteer form, check ‘agree’, and learn more.
It’s important that you take the time to decide what volunteer activities you want to be involved with before filling out your volunteer forms. When you’ve made your choice(s), click on the appropriate volunteer form for Anchorage/Wasilla/Willow – (Start/ReStart/Year Round) or Nome. Fill out the form and click submit! It’s that easy! (See links below to register.) When you review the volunteer forms, you’ll note that there is contact information provided for some areas but it is not necessary for you to contact the coordinator unless you have a question that can’t be answered on this page or on the form. Coordinators will contact you. If you contact coordinators with questions, do not assume you have registered. It is essential that you fill out the application regardless of any commitment by a coordinator in order for you to volunteer for the race and for the ITC to have your credentials prepared when you arrive to register.
After your volunteer form is submitted, your information on the form is sent to the volunteer coordinators. Please be patient. Our volunteer coordinators begin contacting volunteers in January.
Click here for the 2014 Volunteer form for the Start of the race and other times throughout the year. (Anchorage, Wasilla, Willow, and the Trail as well as year round volunteering opportunities.)
Important Note: Any volunteer working on the trail that may fly with the Iditarod Air Force, must be a member of the Iditarod Trail Committee. Click here to view membership levels and to join.
Date: Thursday Evening, February 27
Time: Doors open at 5:00
Where: Dena’ina Center, 600 West 7th, Downtown Anchorage
Tickets: Click here: Banquet Tickets
Information regarding housing needs and offerings for people coming to the race:
- The ITC cannot pay for volunteer transportation or lodging, but we will attempt to assist you in finding housing in Anchorage. We do recommend, however, that you stay at the Millennium Hotel, our 24/7 Race Headquarters. This is the best place to stay to be a part of the race action.
Information regarding housing for those who can provide housing: (Anchorage)
- Teams and/or volunteers coming in from out of state are often looking for housing. If you are able to provide housing, but would like additional information regarding housing an out-of-state volunteer or team, please contact the Iditarod Housing Coordinator. Whether you have housing or need housing, it’s important to check the appropriate box on the form to start the process.
Anchorage, Wasilla, Willow and the Trail — Volunteer Opportunities
Race Headquarters at the Millennium Alaskan Hotel (2/24 — 3/20)
The ITC’s Official Race Headquarters during the majority of the race is the Millennium Alaskan Hotel, located at 4800 Spenard Road, Anchorage, Alaska. The Millennium is the hub of all Iditarod activity before teams begin arriving in Nome. When you click on the volunteer form, you’ll find a number of volunteer activities that take place at the Millenniuim. You may want to consider volunteering for more than one activity. We ask that you number your choices in order of preference
Volunteer Registration Desk (2/24 — 3/12)
As volunteers come into the Millennium Hotel for the first time, they need to check in at the Volunteer Registration Desk to confirm their volunteer information and receive their credentials. A team of three people per shift, (4 hour shifts) will be needed beginning Saturday Feb.24th through March 12th. The desk will be open from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm daily. Volunteers need to be comfortable with a computer for data input and provide volunteers with assistance in a professional manner. Our volunteers are essential to staging the Iditarod and we’re grateful for each volunteer! Training for the registration desk will be provided during the first shift.
Phone Room Volunteer (2/24 — 3/12)
The phone room begins its activity during business hours the week before the race. On the first Saturday in March, phone room activity ramps up considerably with as many as seven volunteers manning telephones and computers per shift around the clock. This activity lasts for two weeks or a little longer. Volunteers answer questions about the race, the mushers, and other Iditarod related topics.
Computers are located at each work station so volunteers have instant access to current race information. All volunteers are provided with resources and information that help answer race-fan questions.
Shifts are usually four hours each. Trainings for phone room volunteers are February 26th at 10 a.m., March 1st at 6 p.m. and March 7th at 10 a.m. Please plan to attend one of these training sessions. Your time spent training will help you function in a confident and business-like manner.
Race Stats (Computer Input) Volunteer (3/1 — 3/20)
A tremendous amount of data is constantly coming in from the trail via email. Reports about each team, when they arrive at each checkpoint, when they leave, and how many dogs are all a part of the information flow that needs to be inputted and posted on www.iditarod.com. Race Stats volunteers must have computer experience and be at least 18 yrs. old. They must be dependable, detail oriented, have good typing skills and be able to compose and send emails using Microsoft Outlook. This department is located at the Millennium Hotel. Work begins on the evening of Restart day and concludes when the last team arrives in Nome. Six hour shifts begin at 6a.m., 12 p.m., 6 p.m. and 12 midnight. Two volunteers are needed per shift. Training is provided during your first shift. There is no need to attend a special training session.
Merchandise Sales Volunteer (2/4 — 3/16)
Merchandise sales is a very important part of the Iditarod’s fundraising activities. During the race, sales at the Wasilla Headquarters, Fifth Avenue Mall Iditarod Shop, and through mail order continue as they do year round. Additionally, the ITC sets up a retail sales outlet at the Millennium and in Nome, Alaska at the Mini Convention Center. Merchandise sales at the Millennium generally opens in early February and closes around March 18th. The Millennium sets up a great area for Iditarod’s merchandise sales in the lobby. If you enjoy visiting with people from all over the world, this could be a great volunteer opportunity. During the busiest times, there may be a need for as many as five or six volunteers during a shift. Minimal training in advance or on first shift may be required. Additional help may be needed for setup and shift coverage during February, before the race week begins.
Dropped Dog Volunteer (3/1 — 3/19)
Dropped dogs is the term used to describe the canine athletes who have been part of a musher’s team during the race and have been dropped out of the race at one of the checkpoints for one reason or another. These athletes are transported back to Anchorage. They arrive in Anchorage at either Ted Steven’s International Airport or on Lake Hood just behind the Millennium. Dog Drop volunteers assist in helping the dogs de-plane and the provide care for them until either they are picked up by their musher’s designated handler or are taken out to Hiland Mountain Correctional Center where they are cared for by inmates until they are picked up by handlers. The Dog Drop volunteers are involved in caring for the dogs as well as contacting handlers to schedule pickups and maintaining records of each canine athlete in their care.
Race Communications (Comms)
Race Headquarters Communications (HQ Comms) Dates 2/28 – 3/20
HQ Comms is at the Millennium Hotel in Anchorage. It operates in 6-hour shifts, 24 hours a day, starting before the Ceremonial Start and finishing a few days after the last musher gets to Nome. Each 6 hour shift is staffed by 2-3 volunteers. HQ Comms works to monitor and disseminate communications between the checkpoints and HQ, as well as keeping track of personnel movement along the trail and providing support to other departments.
There are other miscellaneous Comms related jobs both pre- and post- race. These include several organizational tasks, moving furniture and sorting bins.
HQ Comms volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dependable, organized, have familiarity with Windows, Microsoft Office (Word & Excel) and Outlook, and be a team player. Volunteers must attend a Comms training session prior to the race.
Trail Communications (Trail Comms) Dates determined by assignment.
Trail Comms volunteers are assigned to checkpoints where conditions may be less than ideal: sleeping on the floor, no running water (no showers) and some demanding physical activity, all with minimal sleep. Assignments last from 4-14 days.
Trail Comms volunteers need to have the same skill set as HQ Comms. Teamwork is essential. Prerequisites are experience in both HQ Comms and Race Stats and must hold an ITC dog handler card and be an ITC member. Volunteers must also attend a Comms training session prior to the race.
Most Trail Comms positions are filled by returning Comms volunteers.
Trail positions for volunteers are based mainly on skill sets and experience. Please take a minute and read the information on the registration form. Trail positions require a high demand for physical activity. If you would like to apply for a trail position, please check that box and we’ll talk to you about it, but know that most trail positions are filled with returning volunteers. (IF you are registering for COMMS you do not need to check Trail Position on your registration form.)
*PLEASE NOTE: You must be a member of the Iditarod Trail Committee to be a volunteer on the trail. (Trail Comms, Trail Positions, etc.)
Veterinarian Clerical Assistants THIS AREA IS CLOSED FOR THE 2014 Race. Thanks for volunteering!
Tech Assistants (February to early March). Limited positions. This position is clerical, doing the paper work while the technicians work.
Race Start Day: Saturday, 3/1
- Musher Parking – Early Saturday Morning, am to approx 10 am, Provide early morning security and assist Mushers in locating their staging/parking place.
- Trail Guard – Public Relations/Safety – Positions available from 4th Ave to BLM Headquarters. Duties include keeping trail clear of pedestrians; adding snow back to the trail at roadway/trail crossings.
- Security – Public Relations/Safety, Duties include keeping public separate from race participants, staffing public crossings of staging areas and keeping the trail open within the staging area.
- VIP Liaisons – Public Relations, Assist Idita-Riders and family members in locating their mushers. Provide escort to Public Officials and Honored Guests.
- Dog Handlers – Special training & certificate required. Volunteers should be physically fit! Volunteers will assist mushers from parking space to Starting Line on 4th Ave.
- Assist wherever needed.
- End of Anchorage Start at the BLM – Volunteers are needed in multiple positions: Dog Handlers, Security, Trail Guard and VIP Liaison. Volunteers should be familiar with Anchorage and have transportation.
ReStart Day: Sunday, 3/2
- Load Truck – Saturday Start Day – Wasilla ITC
- Unload Truck – Monday after the Restart – Wasilla ITC
Involves loading all equipment and fencing at the storage facility and transporting it by truck to Willow and unloading it. This takes places on Saturday. The equipment is then reloaded on to the truck on Sunday evening after the event and transported back to Wasilla, where it will be unloaded and returned to storage Monday morning.
- Early Morning Setup/Musher Parking – Provide early morning security and assist Mushers in locating their staging/parking place. Includes assembly of fencing to secure staging and chute areas as well and set up of other equipment required at the event. These activities may occur on the day before or the early morning of the Start and/or Restart.
- Trail Guard – A trail guard is an individual that would be placed at a street or road crossing to control vehicle as well as pedestrian traffic. These locations typically are somewhat further away from the re-start line. The goal being to ensure the safety of both dog teams as well as spectators. Requirements may include the ability to walk through deep snow or lift and carry heavy objects or add snow back to the trail at crossings.
- Security – Public Relations/Safety -Typically positioned at public crossings in and around the chute and staging area. Their goal is to keep the public separated from the competitors, controlling the flow of spectators passing through those crossings, maintaining the integrity of fencing, and keeping the trail cleared for the competitors.
- Traffic Control/Parking
- Dog Handlers – Volunteers should be physically fit and will assist mushers from parking space to Starting Line. Dog handler’s card is required. Additional information and an opportunity to sign up for the Dog Handler Class is provided on the volunteer form when you register.
- Tear Down – Sunday Evening
Nome — Volunteer Opportunities – Dates/Times to be Announced
- 24 Hour Office Help: People to work around the clock in the office, taking messages, answering phones, keeping track of mushers, and taking care of necessary behind the scenes details.
- Sales: Assisting with sales at the ‘Nome Iditarod Store’.
- Dog Lot
- Chute Security & Crowd Control
- Banquet Sales
- Banquet Set-up
- Banquet Worker
- End of Race Tear Down
- Postmark Commemorative Mail
- Finish Chute Set-up (need volunteers there the weekend before the finish)
Other Opportunities at Race Time and Throughout the Year
- Make Foot Ointment – Wasilla HQ (January date to be determined)
- People Food Drop – Airland Transport, Anchorage (Friday, 2/14)
- Straw Drop – Airland Transport, Anchorage (Thursday, 2/6)
- Musher Food Drop – Airland Transport, Anchorage (Wednesday, 2/12, Thursday, 2/13)
- Hauling Food Drop Load Out – Willow Airport, Anchorage (Saturday, 2/15, Sunday, 2/16)
- Jr. Iditarod – Wasilla (Saturday and Sunday, Saturday, 2/22, Sunday, 2/23)
- Media Conference – Millennium (Wednesday, 2/26)
- Banquet Hostess — Dena’ina Center (Thursday, 2/27)
- Office Help – Wasilla, ITC HQ (various times throughout the year)
- Ballot Counting – Wasilla (location TBD), 7 AM, (Saturday, 6/29)
- Help at Volunteer Picnic – Wasilla, ITC HQ (Friday, 6/28, Saturday, 6/29)
- Unloading Trailers at ITC HQ – Dates to be announced, generally 2nd week in April
*Please note, dates subject to change. Please check back and refer to the ITC Calendar for additional updates.