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This weekend was the start of the Iditarod Sleddog Race here in Alaska. Downtown Anchorage becomes quite the spectacle with about 1000 dogs and more than 20,000 people converging on 4th avenue. The "dog mushers" will ride the sled runners for 10+ days to cover the "1049" miles (actual trail mileage higher) to Nome.

Here's a link to see the start: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwXQkdjjKFM

What do you think? Would you race for more than a thousands miles?
 

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Oh I have recently been watching the show on the Iditarod. I love watching it. I would never attempt it myself but am amazed at the people and dogs that do. You live in Alaska?
 

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I don't like the cold that much thank you. Thought I would share this link. http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/03/dog_sledding.html?s_campaign=8315 Really cool pics of the dogs.
Thank you for sharing this link, really amazing pics.

I don't think I could do it... I'm a wimp and Weims don't have enough coat hair :)
But for the dogs that are breed to do this, what a blast that must be to perform the task you were born to do! I do worry about how long and far they have to run....
 

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Sending safe racing thoughts to all the dogs and mushers!! I don't think I'd have the stamina to do it, but I think it'd be an experience of a lifetime!
 

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I love Alaska, even though it's so cold, I love the fly fishing here :p

Mushing is a lot harder than it looks lol.
 

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I wonder how many of the sled teams use pure bred dogs, or if most of the sled dogs competing at elite levels are a mix of breeds...When I was in Canada I went on a dog sled trip (doing the easy part of sitting in the sled LOL ) and most of the dogs were mixes....the guy even had a greyhound mix, which he proudly showed off to me once he found out I owned greyhounds.
 

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Almost none of the mushers here use pure Huskies. They use combination's of husky/GSD/greyhound, and breeds like that.

They are trying to breed for dogs that can withstand cold, but also run, and have stamina.

Malamutes can be too heavy, so they usually do Siberian Husky mixes.

I know a few Russian and french teams still use pure huskies and believe by them.
 

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Awesome links.
Makes me love living here in Alaska. I live down the street from two families who have racing teams, in the summers they hitch up to a four wheeler and run them on the side of the street, it's funny to listen to them bark and get all excited :D
 

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Almost none of the mushers here use pure Huskies. They use combination's of husky/GSD/greyhound, and breeds like that.

They are trying to breed for dogs that can withstand cold, but also run, and have stamina.

Malamutes can be too heavy, so they usually do Siberian Husky mixes.

I know a few Russian and french teams still use pure huskies and believe by them.
Interesting! Thanks for the info!!
 

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I would do the race in heartbeat. I'd love to go one day as a spectator. It's totally aewsome.
Ill second that. I also think it would be amazing to see. Not that I guess you would see the whole race but at least to be there to watch the teams take off. I just love the dependance that the dogs and mushers must have on each other, how they have to work as a team. I just think it would be a great bonding experience and quite humbling as well.
 

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I enjoy watching shows about the Iditarod race. I have great admiration for those who train and race.Recently I watched a show about a woman who races it. She said it's not for everyone (I agree)and probably very few could live her lifestyle. She lived in the wilderness and had no electricity or running water.She lived alone with her dogs.Come to think of it,it wouldn't be a bad way to live. I would love to go see it in person one day,it would be a dream vacation!
 

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looks like a Canadian is leading the race, Sebastian Schnuelle 350 miles into.
Also the first dog death of the race, named Victor:(
 

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I wish they would decide once and for all just how long this race is:

the press reports anything from 1000 to 1200 miles; the Iditarod web site says 1150 miles on the front page, but according to the trail map on the same site with was measured with GPS and should be most accurate, the finish line is at 936.

1150? 936? That's a difference of over 200 miles, or the distance from Unalakleet to Nome, or 2 race days. Really, how hard can it be to figure out an accurate distance?!
 

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I've heard the 'original' distance traveled was actually shorter than the one used for the race today. Who knows?
 

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the original route was also different: from nenana to Nome, rather than Anch to Nome. The serum was brought to Nenana by train.

That one's still commemorated by the serum run, an annual lecture/mushing expedition (not a race) from Nenana to Nome. They stop and sleep in the villages and give talks/lectures on health related issues. Each serum run has a theme, such as smoking, heart disease etc.
This year, it had to be cancelled because of too deep snow.

Oops - the city sirens just went off; another Iditarod musher is arriving in town :) I'll run and have a look!
 
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