Author: Jim (56 posts)


Misconceptions and More: Why Dogs?

With so much wildlife in Alaska, the question sometimes comes up about ‘Why use dogs and not other animals for work in the Arctic?’ It’s a very good question and one that has quite a complex answer. There have been attempts at using other animals to help humans live in the extreme climate in the …

Voices of the Volunteers: Jennifer Dowling

  Jennifer Dowling has served as the Iditarod information guru since 2015 when she took over the position as Race Comms Coordinator. In this position, she and the COMMS team are responsible for receiving and processing checkpoint times, dog counts, layovers, and all other race information, then publishing it on the Iditarod Insider and website. …

Classroom Connections: Togo vs. Balto Opinion Writing

For this lesson, students will take a look at what mushing was like before the Iditarod ever existed. Togo and Balto played integral roles in the delivery of a lifesaving serum to the isolated town of Nome during the winter of 1925. Known as the “Great Race of Mercy” or “The Great Serum Run”, students …

Voices of the Volunteers: Monte Mabry

  Monte Mabry has served as Director of Operations for the Iditarod Air Force in recent years. He has lived all over the globe and flying is, simply, in his blood. This will be his 25th year with Iditarod and has seen the evolution of the race first-hand from both an aviation and logistical perspective. …

Misconceptions and More: Roads and the IAF

  In the “lower 48”, traveling throughout the country is something that can easily be taken for granted. For long distances, air travel is the preferred way to go, but for everything else, most people tend to travel by car. The highway system that crisscrosses our nation gives us the ability to drive almost anywhere …

Voices of the Volunteers: Richard Burnham

Richard Burnham of Kaltag, has served as an Iditarod Race Checker, Trail Breaker/marker, Clean-up crew member, and even participated in the race from 1975-1978. He has run the race with some of the early greats of the Iditarod, including Susan Butcher and Rick Swenson in their rookie years. He has also gotten to know many …

Classroom Connections: STEM Sugar Cube Dog Houses

  Personally, I have always had a difficult time integrating math into my Iditarod unit of study. As a 3rd grade teacher I am usually busy preparing my students for THE tests (for 3rd grade reading and math). However, after the race has concluded, my students are in need of something that is more project-based …

Voices of the Volunteers: Jeff Schultz

  This is the first in a series of new posts entitled “Voices of the Volunteers”. For those who have followed the race for a long time already know, the Iditarod would not even be possible without the help of the volunteers. Therefore, I have decided to do this piece as an homage to all …

Misconceptions and More: The Start of the Race

  Continuing one of my themes from last year, I wanted to start this year by looking deeper at the start of the race. The premise of this post actually brings to mind 2 separate misconceptions about the Last Great Race. The first one being why the race was started. Many think that the Iditarod …

Moments with Mushers: What’s Important for People to Know…

  For me, Interviewing the mushers was one of the greatest highlights of the past year. Talking to these great men and women and hearing their take on the race and sport they love so much was surreal, and the depth and breadth of their responses made it even more incredible. Next year I look …