Iditarod the Great Race to Nome
The Iditarod Trail Race is a Legendary Sled Dog Race of epic proportions across the frozen wastelands of the Alaska Wilderness. Covering a distance of 1825 km. The race leaves Anchorage the first Saturday in March and travels over the mountain ranges along the frozen rivers and over the frozen sea to the Bering coast line at Nome in northern Alaska.
The race follows the now unused mail route from the gold rush days when mail was taken into the town of Iditarod in the interior twice each winter and the gold brought out all by dog teams. When the gold rush ended a few years later the town was subsequently deserted and the trails unused.
In 1925 this route was used to relay serum from Nenana to Nome during an outbreak of diphtheria, and it was this dramatic run that inspired the annual dogsled race. The race concept was to perpetuate the mail route, which is now the Natural Historic Trail of the United States of America, and also the use and livelihood of the dogs when the snow machine (or 'Iron Dog' as the Eskimos called them) was introduced in the 1960's. The first race was run in 1973 as a belated celebration of the purchase of Alaska from Russia. It has since grown in stature year by year into an international event.
Each entrant racing a team of up to 22 Alaskan huskies whose welfare the entrants must take care of as well as their own.