For all the people outside of Alaska in the lower forty eight, the Iditarod is something you may or may not have heard of. Up here and to many fans around the world, its like the Alaskan Super Bowl!
Now that I’ve been in Fairbanks for almost 6 months, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to learn more about the mushing community, the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. I was even able to drive a dogsled team myself out on the Tanana River this winter. When Togo Run an award-winning global health communications agency with offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and London asked me if I’d be their “on the scene” reporter to help with their campaign to Tell Togo’s Tale I was thrilled!
A link to the “Our Story” page on Togo Run’s website.
A link to Togo Run’s blog Unleashed featuring photos of me with some of the mushers and coverage of the events
So what is the origin of the Iditarod?
From Wikipedia: During the 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the “Great Race of Mercy”, 20 mushers and about 150 sled dogs relayed diphtheria antitoxin 674 miles (1,085 km) by dog sled across the U.S. territory of Alaska in five and a half days, saving the small city of Nome and the surrounding communities from an incipient epidemic.
A link to the full description including a map of the Serum Run route
On a longer trail, but starting out in Anchorage and ending in Nome, the now famous 1,049 mile race first run in 1973 is the current day Iditarod.
The official race kickoff was this weekend in Anchorage starting with the Mushers Banquet downtown on Thursday night, then the ceremonial start on 4th Avenue Saturday, followed by the real start of the race known as the “re-start” on Sunday out in Willow.
I had a chance to speak with many of the mushers, fans, handlers and spectators; the enthusiasm for The Last Great Race on Earth® was something I will not soon forget!
The Mushers Banquet
Ceremonial start Saturday morning on 4th Avenue, downtown Anchorage
The Official Iditarod Re-Start. Sunday March 3, 2013 in Willow
Some close ups of the amazingly beautiful and brave dogs that make this race possible
Here’s a quick video clip of Lance Mackey I took heading off on the trail as a reward for reading all the way to the end!
Thanks and see you in Nome!
Love that last dog photo!! Makes me smile — thanks! 🙂
Thanks Jamie and thanks for always following a long on the journey as well as your help with all things technology related you are the best! Look forward to hanging when I’m back in NYC!
What an amazing experience. And, I just love those dogs!
Do they let beagles run? Manny would lose his mind. He would definitely take the sled off course but it would be amazing to watch. Mush!!!!
Manny would be in heaven! He could get all junk yard dog and bark to his hearts content it would be drowned out by the chorus around him, but boy would he have fun!
It all looks awesome. Thanks for doing this. I’ve always wanted to go the Iditarod… now I don’t have to. Keep those details coming.
Except… I am little frightened by the race organizer’s lynx hat, pictured above. Clearly, we’re not in NYC anymore.
Do not be frightened of the hat, unless in my next post I’m wearing it!
Awesome pictures and really enjoyed learning about the Iditarod. Your writing always makes me feel like I am right there with you !!!!
Thanks Barb, it’s always great to have you along on the journey xo
Wait, “on by?” I totally thought it was “umbai.” Thank you correspondant Marc for clearing that up! Off to do some ski-drawing! Cheers!
Ben! LOL!! Clearly you were not paying attention Um Bai is my trail name 🙂
Wherever you go, my friend, I get to learn something new. Thanks for sharing these amazing photos and your fantastic experiences.
Thanks Jen its always great to hear from you and I love that you are always with me in spirit. I remember our road trip from years ago and maybe one day we’ll do road trip Part 2 (with a cute little boy in tow who will share milkshakes at Friendly’s with me!
i love the boots on a team of dogs.
Thanks Janet, it helps keep their little puppy feet warm 🙂
Fantastic Marc….the things I learn from you! Way to go on the reporting and blog…
Thanks Linda! Glad you enjoyed it, stay tuned for part 2 from Nome!
Marc- I’m not sure what to make of your mini-zztop beard, but (as always) the picts are phenom and to be able to have that experience is beyond compare. You are amazing!
Thanks Brit, I love that you, dad and everyone enjoy my stories and photos. It really makes the experience that much more meaningful when its shared!
Marc– (Kathy from Nome) Great pics and blog. Can’t wait until you do the finish and activites in Nome. That was sure a fun a ride out to Safety. The banquet lasted until 9:30, and we stayed to end! Didn;t know a banquest could last so long!!! Mike and I rented a car back in Anchorage and drove to Seward–breathtaking! I could do that drive every day.
Thanks Kathy It was great meeting you and Mike, working on Iditarod Part Two now!
Great meeting you at the Dredge 7 Inn in Nome. Enjoyed your pics and comments on the start of the race and looking forward to the finish in Nome. We stayed till the Tuesday after the Banquet and by then you could fire a cannon down Front Street in Nome and not hit a thing!!. A group of us Aussies will be back next year to do it all again.