Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, also called the “Last Great Race on Earth®”

Who?

  • Mushers –  See the current list of mushers for the 2018 race by clicking here.
  • Dogs!  Dogs!  Dogs!  Most of the sled dogs are Alaskan Huskies.  Dogs in the race must first meet standards of good health.  Learn more by clicking here.
  • Veterinarians are stationed at checkpoints during the race and involved in pre race examinations of the sled dogs.
  • Joe Redington, Sr., the ‘Father of the Iditarod’ is remembered as the founder of the Iditarod.  Learn more about Joe at this link.
  • Volunteers are the backbone of the race, each year, volunteers help to stage the race by dedicating time and energy helping with many jobs.  Learn about being a volunteer at this link.
  • Race Fans follow the race and cheer the mushers on along the race trail.  Using Iditarod Insider, fans can follow the race viewing video on demand and GPS Tracking.  Find out more about Iditarod Insider by clicking here.
  • Sponsors provide important and essential financial and in kind support.  Visit our sponsors by clicking here.

What is it?

When and Where does it start and end?  Where does the trail go?

  • It starts in Anchorage and ends in Nome.  The race begins on the first Saturday in March and it ends when the last musher crosses the finish line in Nome.
  • The race route goes from Anchorage to Nome following the Iditarod Trail.  On the ‘even’ years (2016, 2018, etc,) it takes what has become the northern route and on the ‘odd’ years, (2015, 2017, 2019) it takes the southern route…  typically.  Weather or other factors can alter the route.
  • In 2018 and 2019, the race will take the southern route.   Click here to see the race map and information about the trail and checkpoints.

Why?  Why did this race get started?

  • For Joe Redington, the Father of the Iditarod, there were two most important reasons for the Iditarod Sled Dog race.  He is quoted in Nan Elliot’s book, I’d Swap my Old Skidoo for You, “When I went out to the villages (in the 1950’s) where there were beautiful dogs once, a snow machine was sitting in front of a house and no dogs.  It wasn’t good.  I didn’t like that  I’ve seen snow machines break down and fellows freeze to death out there in the wilderness.  But dogs will always keep you warm and they’ll always get you there.”  He was determined to bring back the sled dog to Alaska and to get the Iditarod Trail declared as a National Historic Trail.