The Iditarod dog sled race is an international long distance dog sled race conducted annually in early March in Alaska. It is considered by many to be one of the most challenging dog sled races in the world. Teams of up to fourteen dogs, including at least five that must be on the lead line at the end of the race, cover the distance over 8icles or more in 15 days or more, for a grand distance of about one hundred miles. This makes the Iditarod dog sled race one of the most extreme dog sled races in the world.
The Iditarod dog sled race is carried out on an average of fifteen kilometers of length every day. Though some of the dog mushers have been known to go faster than this, the record still stands at fifteen kilometers per day. The course is located entirely in the North Pacific Ocean, south of Anchorage. It starts off in Chugach, where the race officials have set up a reception point and two checkpoints. Further south, near the town of Nemaska, the race officials establish their first checkpoint, while further south they make another.
The Iditarod dog sled race starts off with a two-hour-plus period of racing on dry ground. After this, the dogs are taken to an area called the Nome course. Here, they will complete a course of jumps, turns, curves, water, and more obstacles to complete their race. The course is considered ideal for experienced dog sled dogs, but even new dogs can master it.
The second checkpoint is considered the ceremonial start. This is when the official ceremony takes place, where the dogs take their position on top of their sled dogs. At this point, the official race schedule begins. The winner of the Iditarod dog sled race is declared. Once again, the celebrations in the Alaskan village continue through the night.
The next day, a celebratory party takes place in front of the Nome Course. Guests and dignitaries are cordially invited. At this point, the dogs are groomed and the finishing touches applied to their coats. The dogs are then packed in aluminum shepherds, which are driven by the professional sled drivers from the south. The dogs then proceed to their destination, which is a closed-in enclosure.
At the destination, the sled dogs are free to run about. They can be groomed using human hair or the traditional alpaca fur. After about ten minutes, the dogs are back in their aluminum sleds. The speed for this section of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race is 12 miles per hour. The course is then marked off with buoys to indicate the distance.
On the final lap of the race, the dogs take their positions. Each team has two minutes to cover the remaining course. A skier acts as a marking person. As each dog pulls the sled, a flag is raised to alert spectators. If the dog collar’s a runner, the dog is disqualified. The race is over when the dogs have crossed the finish line.
As you can see, the Iditarod dog sled race is a high Adrenalin competition. It is exciting for the dogs and the spectators. This high-energy event is a great way to spend a day at home. The race is held annually since 1998. You may want to be there on opening day to watch how the dogs do.
The course consists of many different areas. Some of the areas have obstacles that the dogs must negotiate to get to the other side. There is a course with obstacles that cannot be passed. There is also a course that is simply a straight track. In between the two courses there is a half-kilometer area where the dogs are allowed to run and play.
Although running and playing in the Iditarod dog sled race may be a fun time for you and your pet, safety is always the first priority. Before you race, be sure that you have had all your vaccinations and can see and feel your dog’s extremities. You should always be aware of your surroundings at all times during the race. Even if you are just watching from the stands, make sure that you know what is going on because you might need to react quickly to help another dog or an animal that is racing towards you or your dog.
Please remember that taking your dogs along with you in the race will help make the experience more enjoyable for you and for your pet. Always check with the Iditarod organizers about any other regulations or rules about dogs being allowed on the course. Some races do not allow any dogs under the age of seven but most do. If you have questions about whether or not your pet will be allowed to participate in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race, contact the Iditarod organizers or their steward.