It’s affectionately known as the “Last Great Race on Earth” and it’s hard to argue. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is a sight to behold, not just for dog lovers but for sports enthusiasts as well. If you’re just a casual fan of dogs or this dog race, here are three things to know about the 2011 Iditarod:
1. It’s an early-March Alaskan Tradition: The 2011 Iditarod restart officially kicked off at 2 p.m. Alaska time in Anchorage on Sunday, March 6. That’s at 6 p.m. EST. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race always starts on the first weekend in March. The Ceremonial Start is always on the first Saturday.
2. It is an estimated 1,100 miles long: Each team of 12 to 16 dogs along with their musher cover 1150 miles in 10 to 17 days. It starts in Anchorage, which is located in south central Alaska and ends in Nome. Nome is on the western Bering Sea coast. The race route is alternated every other year and goes through wilderness, large cities and small native villages.
: He is the defending champ but he’s more than that. Lance Mackey has won the Iditarod four consecutive times and is going for a fifth this year. His 2010 race was the second-fastest finish in the history of the Iditarod. He finished 2010 Iditarod in eight days, 23 hours and 59 minutes according to the Associated Press. If he beats the 61 other teams this year, he takes home the price of $50,400 and a new truck.