Monday, March 7, 2011

Iditarod Dogs, The Race Is On

Anchorage, Alaska (CNN) -- Alaska's famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race officially gets under way Sunday after a ceremonial start to a 1,000-mile competition that takes mushers through some of the harshest conditions imaginable.
Sixty-two teams are competing this year and will travel more than 1,150 miles across the Arctic for a chance at $50,400 and a new truck.

They sped through Anchorage Saturday to the sounds of racing paws and cheering crowds.
An official "restart" of the race is set to take place Sunday in Willow, Alaska, about 70 miles north of Anchorage. The competition will end in Nome.

"You know, some people were put on earth to be lawyers, construction, you know whatever. I was put on earth to race, train and promote sled dog racing," said Lance Mackey, 40, who is gunning for his fifth consecutive win. He won the 2010 race in eight days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 9 seconds.

Mackey's stepson, Cain Carter, is competing in the Iditarod for the first time this year.
The teams face strong winds and temperatures well below zero that will test the strength of the dogs and the stamina of their owners.

The Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome first ran in 1973.
"This is my job. It is my hobby; it is my passion; it is everything that I love," Mackey said.

1 comment:

Denise Zaldivar with IES said...

I don't know what to think about this too much. Isn't this way too harsh on the dogs? I mean, I now they are well taken care of, have food, sleep, but my goodness, the PRESSURE and the stress they feel coming from their trainer/owner...for so many days straight??...I don't know.