Dear Girls and Boys,
I am a sled dog, and we love to run and pull! Whenever a musher comes out into their dog kennel with harnesses, we dogs start jumping and barking like crazy, almost as though we are saying, “Pick me! Pick me!”
Many sled dogs get practice on other races before the Iditarod. There are shorter races like the Kuskokwim 300 which happened January 17 – 19. Peter Keiser, 2019 Iditarod champion , won that race with his dogs. Another Iditarod veteran, Matthew Failor, came in 2nd. Both of these mushers are also signed up for the Iditarod.
Today starts the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Two mushers who will run the Iditarod are racing in this 300 mile race which starts in Duluth, Minnesota:
Why would a musher and his/her dogs want to run races before the 1,049 mile Iditarod?
What do you do when you are getting ready for a race or a big test? Do you study or practice? Many mushers and their sled dogs are running shorter races in these weeks before the Iditarod. Just like you practice for a long race or running the mile in PE, the sled dogs and their mushers are practicing and getting into better shape!
You can follow this smaller race on Iditarod.com. They have a live feed of all that is happening.
Until next time, this has been your canine reporter,