Author: Jane Holmes (21 posts)


Volunteer Dog Handling Training

Volunteer dog handling is a popular choice for Iditarod volunteers, especially those who may only get to experience the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage. But it is one of the tougher positions for sure. If you’ve never been near a dog team just about to start a race, you are missing one of the most …

Countdown to Iditarod 2019

Watching the countdown timer? 21 days from now Iditarod 2019 officially begins. Since the end of last year’s race, preparations for 2019 have begun. Yesterday, February 7, was straw drop day. At Air Land Transportation, Anchorage, AK, roughly 50 very busy volunteers gathered to wrestle roughly 1,500 bales of straw (one bale of straw per …

V.O.L.U.N.T.E.E.R.

Vibrant, Organized, Loyal, Unswerving, Necessary, Tenacious, Energetic, Eager, Remarkable! That is how we would describe our amazing volunteers! The Iditarod, a world-class premier dog sled race, is led and guided by a highly qualified board and top-notch, experienced and capable staff. But it is no secret that the race and preparations leading up to and …

Grit, Dedication, and Lots of Practice

You can see the countdown timer on Iditarod.com as you anxiously await this year’s race. Do you wonder what everyone else is doing while they wait? As soon as one race ends, plans and preparations for the next year’s race begins. Volunteers are being recruited, teachers are being trained on using the Iditarod as a …

Yes, but…

This past weekend, the 2019 Iditarod rookie musher meeting took place. When I looked up the word “rookie”, the definition given was “someone in his/her first full season of a sport”. Not so with Iditarod. These mushers are running in their first Iditarod, yes, but they are far from being in their first full season …

Finish Line Math

Here are a few quick start math problems using the finishing date for Iditarod XLVI: How many mushers finished with half or more of their team? Calculate the average (mean, median, mode) number of dogs on the finishing teams for Iditarod XLVI. Make a plot diagram of the numbers of dogs that each finishing team …

Predicting When the Leading Musher Will Finish – 5th grade style

My school started spring break as of the end of the school day today.  My students were so eager to watch the winning musher together as a class, so I took the opportunity to do some math with them to show ABOUT when the leading musher will cross the finish line.  Please know that I …

We Did Our Homework

Teacher on the Trail Heidi Sloan posted a suggestion to compare our school in Togiak, AK to Nikolai, so we did.  After reading her description, we created a Venn diagram and along with some walking music and a pair/share structure, we listened to and told each other what we found out. Now, you may think …

Culture and Tradition

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as we know it today has evolved over decades; no, it has evolved over centuries because the Iditarod is deeply steeped in tradition and culture, a tribute to the Native Alaskans and the place dog teams hold in the lives of them and other people worldwide. And just as …

Checking In With Robert Redington

Today I spoke with Robert Redington to see what he is doing now that the 2016 Iditarod race season has wrapped up. Right now he is in Juneau running sled dog teams for Alaska Excursions Dog Sled Discovery and Musher’s Camp. That keeps him busy from May through September.  He has 30 “pups” there with …