By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Published on Sunday March 8, 2020 at 1:06 AM EST
The historic Iditarod officially begins on Sunday at 2 pm in Alaska. The annual long-distance sled dog race has been going on since 1973.
This is the biggest sporting event in the Last Frontier. A bunch of mushers and their dogs will take on the course that will go from Anchorage to Nome.
Each musher will take at least 14 dogs with them on this adventure. Then, they will go through several towns, before reaching Nome anywhere between 8-15 days.
Through the race, the teams will travel 975 miles. In fact, they also have to go through 23 separate checkpoints from the start to the end of the race.
The shortest distance is from Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip, which is just 11-miles. However, their longest distance is from Kaltag to Unalakleet, which is 85-miles.
Only four checkpoints are longer than 60 miles. Besides the 85-mile distance, the mushers and their dogs will also have to go through a 75-mile distance from Rohn to Nikolai, a 73-mile distance Ophir to Cripple, and a 70-mile distance from Cripple to Ruby.
Four competitors have already withdrawn before the start of the race. Three of them are from Alaska, while one is from Montana.
Brett Bruggeman is the lone non-Alaskan member to withdraw. Native members include Rick Casillo, Jesse Salyer, and Jeff King also dropped out.
Mitch Seavey has the fastest course time. He finished the course in eight days, three hours, 40 minutes, and 13 seconds in 2017.
When he won, he also became the oldest winner to ever win the race.
There will be 57 mushers, who are competing in this year’s event. One competitor, Sean Underwood, is from Georgia.
The Iditarod has brought out several competitors from outside of the United States. Martin Massicotte, Jason Campeau, Michelle Phillips, and Aaron Peck are from Canada.
Fabio Beriusconi is from Italy. Several competitors are from Norway including Thomas Waerner, Tom Frode Johansen, and Joar Leifseth Olsom. Mille Porsild is from Denmark.
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