One Man's Alaska

Alaska Iron Dog race under way

February 20, 2011

The 2,000 mile Alaska Iron Dog race gets under way later today. The Iron Dog race is a snowmachine ("snowmobile" for those of us who grew up outside of Alaska) race that begins in a town named Big Lake, just north of Wasilla. The race is billed as "the world's longest snowmachine race", and runs through Nome, Alaska, and is scheduled to end in Fairbanks, Alaska by next weekend.

I can't find an exact map of the race, but here's a link to the Iron Dog race website. According to their countdown clock the race is scheduled to start at nine o'clock tonight, but I think it really started at 11am.

The Iron Dog race site seems a little too confusing, so for information that's a little easier to digest, here's a link to the website.

Reading that web page, it looks like the racers are teams of two partners. The first team departed at 11am, and other teams departed in two minute intervals, so with twenty-eight Iron Dog teams participating, they should have all left the starting gate by noon. By covering 2,000 miles in six days, racing teams will cover at least 333 miles per day.

The total purse for Iron Dog sled riders is $202,500. The winning team will take home $10,000, the second place team will take home $3,000, and so on. People definitely don't run in the Iron Dog race for the money ... you probably can't buy a good snowmachine for $10K.

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