Friday, March 17, 2017

Iditarod Fun Facts!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! 

Over the last week and a half I have been following the Iditarod. It has been a lot of fun and I've been following it with a friend so that has made it even more fun! Well, on Tuesday the 14th, Mitch Seavey won the Iditarod. This was his 3rd win.
There are still some mushers racing, but the majority of them have finished.
Today I am going to be sharing some fun facts about the Iditarod. :)

-- During the even years they take the northern route which is 975 miles and during the odd years they take the southern route which is 998 miles. They used to only take the northern trail but after several years the Iditarod Board of Directors thought it would be best to have a southern route because the smaller villages were being heavily impacted. In taking the southern route the mushers would be able to go through the ghost town of Iditarod and other smaller villages would be able to participate in the race.

-- Each team averages 16 dogs, which means that over 1,000 dogs leave Anchorage for Nome

--There are 26 checkpoints on the northern route, the first in Anchorage and the last in Nome. On the southern route, there are 27 checkpoints.

-- In 1973 the first Iditarod was run in honor of The Great Serum Race and to save the dog sled culture and Alaskan huskies which were being phased out because of the introduction of snow mobiles. Thirty-five mushers started the race but only twenty-two finished. Dick Wilmarth was the first to finish, it took him twenty days.

-- Rick Swenson is the only five time winner of the Iditarod. His lead dog, Andy, lived for almost 20 years and led the musher’s team to victory four times. After Andy died he was stuffed and is on display at the Iditarod Headquarters. Rick Swenson’s son is named after the dog.
Rick Swenson won in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1991. He is now the only person to win the Iditarod in three different decades, a record that will probably never be broken.

--The largest number of mushers to finish a single race was in 2004. 77 mushers completed the race that year.

--The 1991 race was the coldest on record, with wind-chill temperatures falling to minus 62 degrees. 

-- The closest finish was in 1978. Dick Mackey finished one second ahead of Rick Swenson. Dick Mackey’s time was 14 days, 18 hours, 52 minutes and 24 seconds. The winner was decided by the nose of the lead dog across the finish line.

-- Dallas Seavey is the youngest musher to have ever entered the Iditarod. He turned 18 on March 4, 2005, the day that the race started.
He is also the youngest musher to have won the race. His first win was in 2012 at the age of 25.

-- In the first official race, in 1973, John Schultz won the Red Lantern award, coming in at 32d 5h 9m 1s. The longest time to ever complete the race. 


  1. Ahh, such a fun post, Rebekah!! :D I really enjoyed all the fun facts, and I forwarded it to my mom and she enjoyed it too. ^_^ Hehe, the Red Lantern award made me laugh. I think I could win that... *wink*

    1. Thanks, Faith! I’m so glad that you and your mom enjoyed it. I found all these facts to be so fun and interesting! :)
      Hehe, yes, I might be able to win the Red Lantern award too. ;) Well, if I was able to make it all the way through. ;)