Monday, March 7, 2011


The Last Great Race is on.  The Iditarod Sled Dog Race to Nome - underway from the official start in Willow, Alaska yesterday morning.  This is adventure.  I first saw the ceremonial start down the streets of Anchorage in 1989.  I have been to Willow and watched as the teams leave the road system and head up the trail.  I took my elderly father, a retired visitor from Philadelphia, to watch one year.  Like me he stood grinning as the teams ran by.  There is nothing like it.  If you are lucky enough to be in Anchorage at the ceremonial start you can walk along the cordoned-off streets and see the dogs.  When the teams are brought to the starting line - one team every two minutes - you see the handler's assistants straining to hold back dogs who are ready to run.

For 22 years I have been mesmerized by this race.  Now you can be, too.  Go to their website.  Learn about the race.  Meet the mushers.  Watch video.  See the squad of veterinarians checking each dog at each checkpoint.  Follow the GPS tracking of the teams.  Treat yourself.

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