One Man's Alaska

2011 Iditarod race: The Willow restart, prize money

March 4, 2011

As I try to learn more about the 2011 Iditarod sled dog race, I just found a little bit of information about the race restart in Willow. It sounds like the first part of the race from Anchorage to Willow, Alaska is largely ceremonial. They just get everyone up to Willow, and the real racing begins from there.

Here's a quote from an article I just found on the MSNBC website:

"This year's Iditarod kicks off Saturday in downtown Anchorage, where 62 dog teams will line up for the ceremonial start, a short sprint across town. The real racing begins Sunday at the restart in Willow, north of Anchorage."

I'll keep digging for more information about the race, as I'm trying to decide whether I want to see the race start in Anchorage at 10am, or be in Willow for the 2pm restart.

2011 Iditarod race winnings/purse

That same MSNBC article had this information on the 2011 Iditarod race purse:

"The 2011 purse for the top 30 finishers is $528,000, down from a record $875,000 in 2008 and from last year's purse of $590,000. The winner will receive $50,400 -- the same amount as last year -- and a new truck. But the payout for the others in the top 30 is reduced somewhat, ranging from $46,300 to $1,500."

As you can see, nobody gets rich from the Iditarod sled dog race. (Bear in mind the costs of feeding and training all these dogs every year. Even though the racers run only 12-16 dogs in the Iditarod, I'm told their kennels have 30-70 dogs; that's a lot of dog food.)

For more information, here's a link to the MSNBC article I pulled those quotes from.

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