Who Runs?

Hello friends,

Have you ever wondered if you could be an Iditarod racer? YES! However, you can’t just sign up and run, you need to qualify. Rule 1 in the 2022 Official Rules describes what a musher needs to do to qualify for the Iditarod. First, you need to be at least 18 years old by the start of the race. Next, you need to run a few qualifying races. Finally, you need to be physically and mentally able to survive in the Alaskan wilderness. This is especially important because of Rule 31 which states that no outside help is allowed during the race. There are a lot of details within the Rules; you can read them at the link above.

Volunteer veterinarian Steven Shipley examines a Rick Casillo dog at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2018 Iditarod race. Photo by Jeff Schultz/ SchultzPhoto.com (C) 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

As a K9, I think the most important qualification is proof of Veterinary Care. My friends are the true athletes of the race and they must be well taken care of by the humans who prepare them for running across Alaska. Even during the race, veterinarians are at each checkpoint to make sure the K9s are being properly cared for. Awwwooooo! We love our volunteer vets!

The 50th Running of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race is quickly approaching. You may not be a musher – YET – but you can prepare to follow the race. Choose a few mushers to watch, read some books, and get ready to follow some Iditarod excitement.

If you have a question, email me at askzumadog@gmail.com. Your questions will be answered in this post.

Tail wags,