by Anna Baralt, Shorecrest Preparatory School

Introduction

The Iditarod, or Last Great Race, takes place in Alaska the first weekend of March. First officially run in its entirety in 1973, teams of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher cover 1,500 miles in 10 to 17 days.

Traveling from Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast, this National Historic Trail, commemorates the route used in the late 19th and early 20th century to get mail and supplies from coastal towns like Seward and Knik to mining camps in the interior. Everything went into the small mining communities along the trail while gold came out - all by sled dog.

This race honors the beautiful terrain of Alaska, the spirit of the people that live there, and the teamwork between the dogs and their musher.