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The Iditarod: ‘The Last Great Race’

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

Mushers, majestic huskies, and more: we go to the Iditarod.

Lead dogs on the team of Louie Ambrose run during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP)

Lead dogs on the team of Louie Ambrose run during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP)

The Iditarod has been called the “last great race on earth.” Teams of dogs race 1000 miles  across the Alaskan wilderness. Anchorage to Nome.  Through whatever Mother Nature throws at them.

This year, temperatures are warmer but the competition is white- hot. 66 teams started. Four teams have dropped out. To finish, let alone win, will take mushers need nerves of steel and top dogs, who are local celebrities in their own right. Animal activists have concerns.  We’re on the ground for day six of the competition.

This hour, On Point: On the Iditarod’s trail.

Guests

Erin McLarnon, communications director for the Iditarod. Co-owner of the Broken Runner Kennel in Willow, Alaska.

Suzanna Caldwell, reporter for the Alaska Dispatch, covering the Iditarod from the race route. (@ADIditarod)

Dermot Cole, longtime columnist for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and author of “North to the Future: The Alaska Story, 1959-2009.”

Claire Sharp, assistant Professor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, specializing in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care.

From the Reading List

Associated Press “Four-time champion Lance Mackey is the first musher to reach the halfway mark in the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Mackey last won in 2010. He pulled into the ghost town of Iditarod at 8:36 p.m. Wednesday and was awarded $3,000 in gold.”

CBS News “Officials in Alaska say three people, including a child, have been found dead in the wreckage of a small airplane that crashed along the route of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The Cessna 182 left Anchorage on Monday for Takotna, a village on the route of the Iditarod.”

The New York Times “It has made for a trying winter for mushers. Several Iditarod qualifying events have been postponed, rerouted or canceled because of a lack of snow. The John Beargrease sled dog race, a trek of some 400 miles in northern Minnesota, postponed its start to March 10 from Jan. 27. In Alaska, the Don Bowers Memorial 200/300, the Sheep Mountain Lodge 150 and the Knik 200 have been canceled.”

Iditarod Gallery

 

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