Although today the race could be held in Texas, The Iditarod will, as always, be held in Alaska, starting on March 7th. However, they have made some significant changes due to COVID-19. Here’s the scoop:
The Iditarod Trail Committee confirmed that both the restart and the finish of the Last Great Race on Earth will take place at Deshka Landing. The decision was mutually made by the Iditarod and the Willow Area Community Organization due to concern for COVID-19 risk mitigation at the Willow Area Community Center, which is also undergoing construction projects on facilities regularly utilized by the Iditarod.
Deshka Landing, located approximately 7.5 road miles from Willow Lake, serves as a year-round access point to the Lower Susitna Drainage consisting of the Susitna River, Deshka River, Yentna River, Alexander Creek and all tributaries. This change for the 2021 race, along with the Iditarod Golden Trail Loop race route, further allows race organizers to safely execute and continue to protect the communities along the trail, the mushers, volunteers and Iditarod personnel. Continue reading Iditarod Starts in 18 Days!→
I know many people worry about the health and welfare of sled dogs during long races like the Iditarod. Here’s an interesting (if you’re a nerd like me) article about how these dogs’ feet can withstand being in snow and ice for nine days, written by the Iditarod’s veterinarians.
A penguin, a sled dog, and a manatee walk into a diner…
Exxon Mobile just announced they are pulling their sponsorship of the Iditarod after this year, citing the economic state of the world right now. PETA is applauding this as an animal rights victory. Race officials, meanwhile, cite the number of volunteer veterinarians who attend to the dogs throughout their journey.
My humble opinion, formed by watching the race from afar, is that the dogs appear to be having a great deal of fun.
I just realized I never let you know that the Yukon Quest is officially over.
The Yukon News reports that Alaskan musher Olivia Webster is the 2020 Yukon Quest’s red lantern, crossing the finish line in Whitehorse at approximately 8 p.m. on Feb. 15. The rookie is the granddaughter of Leroy Shank, one of the founders of the Yukon Quest, who was at the finish line to show his support.
The “red lantern” indicates the last musher to cross the finish line. Until that team comes in, a red lantern remains lit at the finish line to guide the mushers home.
Congratulations to all who participated.
Next up: the granddaddy of them all: the Iditarod! It begins with a ceremonial start on March 7th, followed by the real start on March 8th. I can’t wait!
Here are the top five mushers in the Yukon Quest this afternoon. All times shown are Alaska Standard Time (four hours behind EST)
Brent Sass passed mile marker 959.3 at 10:51 am
Michelle Phillips passed mile marker 936.7 at 10:50 am
Cody Strathe passed mile marker 883.2 at 8:04 am
Allen Moore passed mile marker 883.22 at 10:01 am
Torsten Kohnert passed mile marker 852.8 at 10:48
Sass is traveling at 4.4 miles per hour, so he may finish overnight!
The Greatest Dog Sled Race on Earth, the grandaddy of them all, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is looking for volunteers for the 2020 race. Volunteers start working in January and some of the tasks take place next June, so there is plenty of time to sync up your volunteer job with your vacation from your regular job. Continue reading Iditarod 2020 Needs Volunteers→