1st Rookie Into Deshka Landing

Hello friends,

Rookie of the Year, Chad Stoddard.

Almost everyone has crossed the finish line including our first Rookie. (Being a rookie means this is their first Iditarod.) This year’s Rookie of the Year is Chad Stoddard who is from Anchorage, Alaska. Working with dogs is in his blood as his great grandfather delivered mail around the time of the 1925 Serum Run. Chad and his K9s finished the 49th Iditarod in 23rd place. Congratulations Chad!

Mrs. Snyder’s 3rd graders are curious about the run/rest schedules for teams during the race. The schedules vary depending on the musher. Most go in with a plan, such as run 3 hours/rest 3 hours, but various elements could interfere with this including weather, snow conditions, and dog stamina. My K9 racing friends reported to me that this year there was some coarse, mushy snow at the start of the race that caused mushers to adjust their run/rest schedules. Since you asked the question, I poked my nose into the analytics of this year’s race. Here is the comparison between 2nd place finisher Aaron Burmeister and 3rd place finisher Brent Sass. Where the green line looks flat is where they took their rests. Aaron took his 8 hour layover before his 24 hour layover while Brent did the opposite. At the beginning of the race Brent looked consistent with his run/rest. By the end of the race both teams look very similar. Math in action – I love it! Thanks for a grrrrrreat question 3rd graders! And, yes, they run through the night.

We’re not done yet. Keep watching! By the way, Lyza, I’m not sure the average number of teams, but there are typically between 65-80 teams racing each year. This year, obviously due to COVID, there were far less. Thank you Iditarod Trail Committee for all the safety precautions you put in place so this year’s race could go on. Awooooooooo! You are pawsome!

Tail wags,