March Madness – Doggystyle

Mention “March Madness” in the lower 48 and words like  Bracketology, Sweet Sixteen and Final Four are terms used to describe the collegiate men’s basketball year end tournament.

In Alaska, “March Madness” has a whole different meaning – The Iditarod… “The Last Great Race on Earth!” The Iditarod is a dog team race that covers 975 miles from Anchorage to edge of the Berring Sea in Nome.

Iditarod 2008 trail map wallpaper

“Iditarod means clear water and was named by the Shageluk Indians for the Iditarod River.”

The race started in 1973 to pay tribute to the part that sled dogs played in the settlement of Alaska, which re-creates the freight route to Nome. Mushers start with a team of 16 dogs to make the journey, and need only finish with 6 harnessed dogs at the finish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The race that can run anywhere from 8-20+ days, has its ceremonial start in Anchorage with the official re-start 11 miles north in Willow and continues across the Alaskan landscape. Mushers and their teams have 23 check points along the way and experience the all the rawness that the Alaskan wilderness has to offer… everything from “white out” blizzards to aggressive moose, and everything in between.

iditarod_2013_01

.Wisconsin will have a few “skins” in the 85 musher field (59 males/26 females) :

Cody Strathe -38 years old, (ROOKIE)

Strathe-Cody-20167KPPITHD-150x195

Strathe

Monica Zappa – 32 years old, Cumberland, WI ( Race Veteran)

983

Zappa

Twins Anna and Kristy Berington – 32 years old, (Both Race Veterans)

PHOTO BY JEFF SCHULTZ/ (C) Schultzphoto.com

Anna PHOTO BY JEFF SCHULTZ/ (C) Schultzphoto.com

Berington_Kristy_2014-Copy-150x195

Kristy

Zoya DeNure – 39 years old, (Race Veteran)

PHOTO BY JEFF SCHULTZ/ (C) Schultzphoto.com

Zoya PHOTO BY JEFF SCHULTZ/ (C) Schultzphoto.com

Elliot Anderson- 24 years old, (ROOKIE)

Anderson-Elliot-16-150x195

Anderson

Dallas Seavey (28) will try to defend his title, while 4 time winner Jeff King (59) who has been a regular since 1976, and hobby is playing ping-pong will also be among the mushers in the field. All will be vying for a $70,000 check, and a new Dodge pickup for finishing first, making the total prize package in excess of $110,000.

aptopix-iditarod-dog-race

2015 Winner Seavey and his lead dogs Reef and Hero

There is just something about this race that fascinates me…always has…So ESPN, or Fox Sports-1 if you are reading this and need a corespondent, I will clear my schedule and be on the next plane to Alaska.

iditarod

Click here for Idtirod facts and trivia,  like who won it the most, closest finish, what is the “Red Lantern Award,” and who is it awarded to. For complete coverage throughout the race check out their home page .

Iditarod_Ceremonial_start_in_Anchorage,_Alaska

The Last Great Race on Earth start March 5th… and to all the mushers and their dog teams best of luck and safe travels!

(photos courtesy of: iditarod.com, NYdailynews, Nbcnews, Rueters)

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “March Madness – Doggystyle

  1. I really enjoyed reading your blog this morning ,so interesting ,and all the facts about the race ,something I did’nt know about ,
    I hope there will be a ticket to Alaska available !

  2. Shouldn’t the dogs get most of the credit for these races??? You would think some cable channel would cover some of this.

  3. The Iditarod kills dogs just about every year; the total known is nearly 150. Dog deaths average about two per race. Six dogs died in 2009. About half the dogs do not finish the race every year. The dogs are dropped due to injury, illness, exhaustion, or not wanting to continue. No musher finishes with all 16 of his/her dogs and some finish with only 7 dogs.

    There are laws in at least 38 states against over-driving and over-working animals, which is exactly what the Iditarod does. The Alaska cruelty statue that would apply to the sled dogs was changed in 2008 to exempt them.

    These dogs are chained their entire lives to their small enclosures, (unable to play or interact with their kennel mates) unless they are training,—all at the behest of their mushers. They are treated as slaves at the ready to perform. This is considered inhumane and illegal in many communities.

    People should boycott this treacherous, unnecessary race and contact the sponsors to stop their sponsorship.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s