The Iditarod Begins Tomorrow!

The Iditarod Begins Tomorrow!

The great dogsled race across Alaska, the Iditarod, starts tomorrow!

If you’re looking for a nail-biting, thrilling, and inspiring story to follow – the first chapter of one unfolds tomorrow. The Iditarod, the 1,000-mile race across the harsh terrain of Alaska, starts at 10:30 a.m. PST/1:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 5th.  As always, it starts on the first Saturday in the month of March.

The race begins in Anchorage and traverses the state all the way to the Bering Coast, where it finishes in Nome. The race usually takes 9 to 15 days, but it can take even longer. Dallas Seavey set the record time of 8 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes, and 19 seconds just two years ago. As of 2012, Dallas Seavey was also the youngest musher to win the race at the age of 25, while as of 2013, at the age of 53, Dallas’ father Mitch Seavey was the oldest person to ever win the race.

Will someone top him in 2016?

It remains to be seen.  Tomorrow, mushers and their teams of 16 dogs will head out to tackle the course. They’ll likely face blizzards, wind chill down to -100 degrees F, frozen rivers, and thick forest. It’s a true test of fortitude, and is fascinating to watch.  At least 6 must be on the towline at the finish line.  The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today’s highly competitive race.

The word comes from the Ingalik and Holikachuk word hidedhod, which means distant place.  There is an award for finishing in last place and it is a red lantern.  This has become an Alaskan tradition. It started as a joke but it has become a symbol of stick-to-itiveness in the mushing world.

If you want to tune in, check out the broadcast schedule here. All of us at The Maria Sanchez Show will be watching along with you.

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