The start of the 48th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race gives families a chance to bond while introducing the next generation of Alaskans to the determination, drive and inspiring grit of some of the state’s mushing heroes and legends – including dogs like Balto and Togo. This dynamic duo helped brave men bring the diphtheria serum to Nome in 1925 to save the lives of sick residents.
Unlike a history class or a trip to the museum, the Iditarod is living, breathing (or panting) history. With scores of mushers and hundreds of world-class canine athletes, the race provides a backdrop to learn about some of the unique characters and events that have shaped Alaska’s identity.
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To learn about the Last Great Race, go to Iditarod.com. It’s filled with history, photo-finishes, race stats, past champions, mushing lore and much more. Plus, families can follow their favorite mushers via GPS tracking all the way to Nome.
Better still, bundle up the kids and head to the ceremonial start in Anchorage on Saturday, March 7, beginning at 10 a.m. on 4th Street.
Those who want to see the official restart, can take a shuttle bus the next day from a variety of locations in Anchorage, Houston, Wasilla and Talkeetna. The restart is where the real race begins as fans cheer on dog teams beginning their 1,000-mile journey to Nome. The restart is this Sunday, March 8, at 2 p.m. on Willow Lake (details here).