The Iditarod – America’s Last Great Race

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IMG_4566On our recent trip to Alaska, I had 2 things on my bucket list: go snowshoeing & see the Iditarod. Despite the lack of snow in Anchorage forcing the “real” start to begin in Fairbanks, the city of Anchorage pulled it together and brought in snow for the Ceremonial Start. With all the snow we were getting back in Pennsylvania, it was funny to think that a city in Alaska would be having a snow shortage…

The “race” was different than I imagined, but still really cool. I had to remind myself that 1) it was a Ceremonial Start & 2) it’s a 1,049 mile race. This is no sprint. It is a true marathon taking over 10 days to complete. So despite being a little sad the dogs weren’t running THAT fast (I could probably have kept up when I was back in my running prime…), seeing THAT many dogs in one small space was an unforgettable experience. Just imagine 60 dog teams, each with around 10-12 dogs PLUS a few “back up dogs” on the reserve team. I have never heard so much barking in my life. That’s basically 750 dogs (if we’re rounding)…

They all wore little snow booties (& I was fortunate enough to find one to take home!) & were so beautiful. I always imagined big huskies, but these were medium sized dogs, fit enough to run 1,049 miles, carrying two sleds with 2 people.

My only regret? Not paying to be an Idita-rider. Yes, for a mere $7,500 you could pay to ride on the dog sled for the 11 mile Ceremonial Start. One day, maybe…

Our trip to Alaska was full of adventure, and I’m so glad Kyle & I could share these experiences with family!

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