Follow the excitement of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race
Also known as "The Last Great Race on Earth," the Iditarod is a thrilling competition that dares human and dog to take on the beautiful yet brutal terrain of Alaska. Mushers travel more than 1,000 miles, making their way through thick forests and over windswept tundras, craggy mountains and frozen rivers. It's a dangerous endeavor with high winds, dark and foggy conditions and steep climbs. The mushers may facing freezing temps well below zero, but you can stay warm and cozy in your Alaska car rental as you follow the mushers and their dogs along the exhilarating course.
History of the race
The Iditarod is the most popular sporting event in the 49th state, running along the challenging Iditarod Trail (which has been deemed a National Historic Trail). The path has its roots in the gold rush of the early 20th century, when it was used as a supply route to deliver goods from coastal villages to the mining camps. Back then, dog sleds were used to transport gold from the mines, and the trail they ran along was later used to deliver antitoxins to Nome when the city was attacked by a tragic diphtheria epidemic.
In the mid-1900s, American dog musher Joe Redington Sr. and historian Dorothy Page joined forces to create the Iditarod race. The aim was to preserve the historic trail and revive the Alaskan tradition of dog sled racing. The first race took place in 1967, then called the Centennial before being extended and renamed the Iditarod.
You can follow the action of Iditarod in your Anchorage car rental. Track the mushers using online resources as they make their way from the start of the route in Anchorage, moving westward toward the Bering Sea coast until they reach Nome - a total of about 1,000 miles that takes between nine and 15 days to complete. Each competitor is transported by a team of 16 huskies, and at least six of them must be attached to the tow rope when the crossing the finish line. Make sure to drive your Iditarod Sled Dog Race car rental to the end of the course in Nome before the first musher completes the race. Here, winners receive awards in a variety of categories from a multitude of organizations, and the first 30 to complete take home a cash prize (first place won more than $50,000 in 2014). The city also hosts a huge banquet to celebrate these winners, not to mention parties and special events in the days following the race.