Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Alaska, anywhere mushers and teams of characteristically 16 dogs cover 1,161 miles (1,868 km) in nine to fifteen days from Willow (near Anchorage) to Nome.

The race begins on the initial Saturday in March (the 2010 race began on March 6). The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams, embryonic into the highly complete for action race it are today. The current fastest winning time record was set in 2002 by Martin Buser with a time of 8 days, 22 hours, 47 minutes, and 2 seconds. Teams frequently race from end to end blizzards causing whiteout circumstances, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds which can cause the wind chill to reach -100 F (-73 C). The trail runs through the U.S. state of Alaska.

A ceremonial create occurs in the city of Anchorage and is followed by the official restart in Willow, a city in the south middle district of the state.

The restart was originally in Wasilla, but since of too little snow, the start again was permanently moved to Willow in 2008. The trail proceeds from Willow up the Rainy Pass of the Alaska Range into the sparsely populated interior, and then along the shore of the Bering Sea, finally triumph Nome in western Alaska. The teams cross a harsh landscape from side to side tundra and spruce forests, over hills and mountain passes, and across rivers. While the start in Anchorage is in the middle of a large urban center, most of the route passes through widely separated towns and villages and small Athabaskan and Inupiat settlements.

The Iditarod is regarded as a representative link to the early times gone by of the state and is connected to many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing. The trails interchange each year-every even year they take the north trail and odd years they take the south trail.