The Iditarod: An Unforgettable Journey
It’s called the Last Great Race. But to the world’s top mushers, the Iditarod sometimes feels more grueling than great.
On Saturday, March 3, 2007, 94 brave souls will begin a 1,150-mile odyssey across Alaska’s frozen wilderness that will test their strength—and their will.
This year, mushers will lead their dog teams along the Iditarod’s northern route, a twisted trail that begins in Anchorage and ends in Nome. To complete the race, each dog team must endure an obstacle course of rugged mountain ranges and dense forest, not to mention frigid temperatures.
The past 10 Iditarod champions have conquered the course in just 8 or 9 days. But on average, it takes dog teams 10 to 17 days to finish the race.
Over the past three decades, the Iditarod has become legendary around the world. It is the pride of Alaska and its people, who turn out in droves every year to cheer on the racers.
This year, like every year, crowds will be waiting in Nome. Every time a musher gets within five miles of the finish line, a siren will ring and residents will pour out onto Front Street to greet their heroes and celebrate their remarkable feat.This year three mushers are tied for second-place on the all-time winners list with four Iditarod victories each. And the man they’re all chasing, Rick Swenson, is going for his sixth win. The race will be grueling, exciting, and close.