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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
  Latest on the 36th Running of the Iditarod dog race as of 815am, 03/07/08 :
above: full webshot
below: webshot detail of top team standings:
below: webshot detail of interactive map
NOTE: use link to interactive map to find latest standings

The Iditarod race from Anchorage (actually it is now Willow due to poor trail conditions on the Anchorage end anymore) to Nome is referred to as "the Last Great Race." Lance Mackey was the winner last year. He also won the Yukon Quest run from Fairbanks to Whitehorse which ran just prior to this both this year and last year.

There were 96 dog teams starting the race this year--the highest number ever.
 

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Ron,

I should know that when I look at posts started by you that I will be looking at stuff for at least 30 minutes.  This post alone was closer to 40!! 

Cool!!  Down here in the lower 48,  the biggest news in sports is tommorow night's University of North Carolina vs Duke men's basketball game.  

How long does this race typically take?  2 weeks? Looks like the leader is way out in front.  I am amazed at the number that are NOT rookies.  I spent time looking through the dog teams...

My Yellow lab would lose her mind if she had to run and run and run all day!!! All she does now is sit and sit and sit waiting for me to get home and take her out to play! 

Mark
 

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Hmm, Ruby Alaska? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/cry.gif Sounds like a questionable establishment to me!

(Torby is constructed from my name, Tom Ruby.)
 

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DAMN!

My family had a husky (mixed with wolf we were told) that had been mistakenly shipped to Buffalo. GReat dog. Now that hte wife & I are in negotiations for a dog she's agreed that we could have a husky and her family had a black lab & I'd agreed to a Black or yellow lab. We've found a sable female Siberian Husky for sale a few hours away.

ARgh! Timely post Ron!

I think we are getting a husky. If we can talk the girls into it. If not it'll be a lab.

Chas
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Posted By markoles on 03/07/2008 11:08 AM
Ron,


How long does this race typically take?  2 weeks? Looks like the leader is way out in front.  I am amazed at the number that are NOT rookies.  I spent time looking through the dog teams...
Look at what has happened over the years: What used to take two weeks is now down to under ten days:
(maybe it's the rising financial incentives ?) (probably not)
2007 top finishers
1975 top finishers
 

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It is worth noting that what is now a race had its origins as a rescue mission.

Way back when, a truly nasty influenza epidemic ('Spanish Lady') ravaged the world, literally killing tens of millions over a span of a year or so (a comparable plague today would probably kill half a billion people or so). Wrod came out of Nome that this epidemic had struck the region, which was chock full of miners and like folks. A serum was desperately needed to keep this bug from pretty much wiping out the entire region - but it was mid winter and the surrounding ocean was froze solid (sea travel was the usual means of getting there). That was when a handfull of dog mushers stepped forward and offered to take the serum to Nome via dogsled - a truly brutal trip in one of Alaska's nastier winters - and Alaska, particularly those regions of Alaska, has brutal winters aplenty (take some of Blackburns nastier weather readings and subtract another ten or twenty degrees and throw in some howling blizzards to boot). Bottom line is the mushers made it there in time to save the communities...and if I remember right, in a time that even the fastest current iditarod champions either have not beaten, or have only recently beaten.
 

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You know, it just goes to show you that when it is really important, humans can make things happen that they otherwise wouldn't.  I noted in looking at the course and checkpoints that there were manditory rest periods.  I doubt that when guys were trying to save people's lives that they rested for 8 hours at a time.  Probably just rested long enough to eat and sleep a few hours or so.  Remember, the history of the running of the Marathon is based on two guys running from Marathon to Athens (?) to warn the impending attack.   I think both died.  I could look it up, but I'm lazy!!

It is interesting that the times have dropped since the mid 70s.  Must be better nutrition and lighter materials. However, it is interesting that in road racing, it seems like times were faster in the mid to late 70s and now things seem to be slowing down.  WIth this race, I imagine it is not so much the winning but the experience of completing that is the true reward.  The monetary incentives seem to be for publicity.  This seems like a very personal Alaskan race. To me, not knowing diddly about dogsled racing or mushing, this seems to indicate that Alaskans are a closenit community separated by hundreds of miles.

MArk
 

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I thought I'd read it was a diphtheria outbreak. Anyhow, several teams of mushers relayed the medication needed through a terrible storm.
 

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Torby is right, it was deptheria. For a really good history of the serum run read The Cruelist Miles.

Chas, 
We are now on our second Siberean Husky. They are great dogs but very "high maintenance". Just make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.  I usually suggest to people to read everything you can about them because they do have characteristics unlike most other dogs and they won't change, you have to adjust to them. If you still want one after understanding their  less desireable traits you should see a psychiatrist to see if they can cure you. If after that you still want a husky then you are certifiably nuts and it's OK to get one./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue.gif

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Iditarod Trail Update for Saturday, 8 March 2008:
Lance Mackey remains in first place and has advaced 104 miles into Nulato


 

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I'll second your suggestion. Research the habits and maint of any type of dog you get.

I think when or if I get to a situation where I can have a pet again, I'll get a .....


.... cat.
 

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John (& tom),
thanks for the advice. While we ahd a husky mix before I KNOW that pure breds (ANY breed) seem to be more maintenance & work no matter what.

Still need to decide. Currently we are planning on going to see the puppies this Saturday. I've got that long to decide. By the way, it was either a dog or another baby. I'm getting too old for babies now!

CHas
 

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I'd vote for the baby! My kids were (and still are) quite a joy.
 
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it was either a dog or another baby.


i would opt for the dog too.
thinking about longtime upkeep, one does not pay highschool and university for dogs...
 

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martin buser won the race 4 times and was within top 10 many times.



btw...Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1958, Martin Buser became fascinated with sled dogs while still a teen. He came to Alaska in 1979



;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Late Night Update:
It's almost over, folks. Check out the map !
This has been one fast-moving dog sled race !
 
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