If geeks love it, we’re on it

Howdy, Stranger!

You found the friendliest gaming & tech geeks around. Say hello!

"The Last Great Race" Iditarod is On!

LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
edited Mar 2007 in The Pub
The ceremonial race start was Saturday, March 3 in downtown Anchorage, 4th Avenue. The next day the official start at Willow commenced. The teams are racing 1000 miles, the vast majority of it across wilderness plains and mountains to the small town of Nome. Watching the ceremonial start this years was a real thrill for me. My friend, Bruce Milne, vest number 70, from Two Rivers, is making his rookie appearance this year. His already an accomplished racer, having completed the Yukon Quest (Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska) several times and numerous other races. (The Yukon Quest is regarded by many to be a much more challenging race than the Iditarod.) Several teams have already scratched since Sunday due to riders being thrown from their sleds on icy stretches of the trail and injured, but Bruce is still going strong! Below are pictures of Bruce at the ceremonial start and dogs from another team.

<a href="http://img57.imageshack.us/my.php?image=iditarod20070303048cvfq9.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img57.imageshack.us/img57/1918/iditarod20070303048cvfq9.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>
<a href="http://img57.imageshack.us/my.php?image=iditarod20070303048mf5.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img57.imageshack.us/img57/7341/iditarod20070303048mf5.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>
<a href="http://img88.imageshack.us/my.php?image=iditarod20070303032cvsd3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/8233/iditarod20070303032cvsd3.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>

Comments

  • LincLinc Community Instigator Detroit, MI Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
    Now THAT is hardcore athleticism. Talk about grueling!
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
    More pictures of the dogs. There's just something really excited watching these dogs race. It's unlike anything you've seen before, except perhaps a hunting dog following a scent.

    <a href="http://img85.imageshack.us/my.php?image=iditarod20070303008aju2.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/4206/iditarod20070303008aju2.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>
    <a href="http://img85.imageshack.us/my.php?image=iditarod20070303034cvmf8.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/5134/iditarod20070303034cvmf8.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>
    <a href="http://img85.imageshack.us/my.php?image=iditarod20070303033vs3.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/3005/iditarod20070303033vs3.th.jpg" border="0"/></a>
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
    Now THAT is hardcore athleticism. Talk about grueling!
    Grueling for beast and man. The course covers mountain passes, rivers, plains, forest... Temperatures along the course will be as cold as -40*F. Some areas are so difficult the musher must dismount to lighten the load and push the sled. I've been sledding with Bruce before. I can tell you, competition mushing is HARD work. There is balance, stamina, sometimes running behind the sled, controlling the dogs with verbal signals and sled brakes. Mushers who are not in top physical condition don't finish races. I've never been mushing by myself, just on a second sled pulled behind the primary musher. Those dogs can from 0 to 20 mph faster than you can believe. Also, when they round a sharp corner, the sled becomes the tip of the whip, a slingshot. When I went out with Bruce a couple years ago, I was thrown three times, one time seeing the proverbial stars before I could get back on my feet. At that crash, Bruce yelled at me, "Get back on your sled, I can't hold these dogs back. They're gonna take off. I MEAN it!" That was one of the most memorable events of my life.

    In endurance races such as the Iditarod or Yukon Quest, they will race for hours on end, sometimes so fatigued the mushers literally cannot focus for more than a few feet in front of them. They get very hungry, nearly dehydrated, and actually sometimes semi-delusional from the cold, constant motion, and blur of the white trail and trees whizzing by on either side. At the end of the race day, the mushers must tend to the dogs - feeding them, watering therm, caring for dogs' feet, and examining them for illness, over-fatigue, or injury. By the time he gets to bed, he may only have two or three hours before he must hitch the dogs up and start the next days trek. The Iditarod has checkpoints approximately every 40-60 miles. The checkpoint intervals for the Yukon Quest can be up to 150 miles. We are talking wilderness here for the majority of both race courses - no roads, no services.
  • csimoncsimon Acadiana Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
    That sounds like a whole lot of fun.:thumbsup:
  • MedlockMedlock Miramar, Florida
    edited Mar 2007
    I've read and seen stuff about Iditarod before...Maybe things have changed since those years ago but it seems like an exciting and dangerous race. The endurance and strength of the dogs is amazing, but they can be injured as well as the musher.

    Best of luck to your friend!
  • MrBillMrBill Missouri
    edited Mar 2007
    Very cool Leo! I can't imagine the physical stress the dogs and musher go through. I hope your friend and his dogs arrive safely in Nome. :)
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
    Gr81, yes, it's still exciting and dangerous. Injuries are equal opportunity to dogs and mushers. Race officials are very strict though, about pulling dogs off the teams at checkpoints if they show any signs of excess fatigue or injury. Running with an injured dog can be grounds for disqualification. One world famous musher (at least in the dog sledding world), DeeDee Jonrowe, quit the race the second day due to a broken finger. She, herself, could have completed the race, but she quit anyway, stating that she didn't think she would be able to adequately care for her teammates (the pooches).
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
    Some great shots of the race here at the Anchorage Daily News online site. Look down in the bottom right of the page for "Most viewed galleries." It's really worth a look. Some super pictures in there. BTW, my friend, Bruce Milne, number 70, is still in the race. Out of 82 starting teams, 16 have scratched already. The leaders are about 100 miles past the halfway mark now in the 1100-mile race.
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
  • LeonardoLeonardo Eagle River, Alaska Icrontian
    edited Mar 2007
Sign In or Register to comment.