24-hour Rest and Time Differential

View from Takotna

Greetings from Takotna, where numerous mushers are currently using their mandatory 24-hour rest. For those of you who might not know, according to rule 13, mushers must take one 24-hour rest at any checkpoint. They are also required to take two additional 8-hour rests—one needs be completed at any checkpoint along the Yukon River, and the other must be served at White Mountain.

If you’re closely following the stats and race times, when mushers use their 24-hour rest, you’ll see that most of them are at that checkpoint for longer than the required time. Thinking back to the restart, you’ll recall that teams leave the starting line every two minutes. When I’ve visited schools and shared about the Iditarod, after I’ve talked about the start, students have always observantly asked, “how is the race fair if the mushers leave at different times?” Expanding upon that idea, this year, Cindy Gallea, Bib #53, left the starting line 1 hour and 42 minutes after Anja Radano, Bib #2, who was the first musher to leave the starting line.

Enjoying a rest at Takotna

When mushers use their 24-hour rest, that is when the time differential from the beginning of the race is added on. For this year’s race, in order to find the time differential, subtract the musher’s bib number from 53 (this is the last musher’s bib number). Take the difference and multiply it by 2 (representing two minutes). The product equals the total differential that will be added to the 24-hour layover.

***Teachers*** Use this activity and have your students practice finding mushers’ time differentials. They’ll also get some practice adding and using military time.