Alaska Warmed Over: Race Dogs Move North In Search Of Snow

Published March 18, 2015
Updated February 1, 2018
iditarod race eye color dog

Mushers and a team of 16 dogs compete, of which at least 6 must be on the towline at the finish. Source: telegraph Picture: REUTERS/Mark Meyer

Alaska’s unseasonably warm weather this year has caused the state’s most famous race to change its starting location. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which usually departs from Anchorage, Alaska moved its start this year 225 miles north to Fairbanks in search of snow.

Though both the starting location and the trail route have been adjusted due to exposed grass (and gravel over sections of the historical route) the opening ceremonies still took place in Anchorage, Alaska’s most populous city.

The city counts on event-related revenue, which means that warm weather has not put a damper on it or Iditarod fans’ spirits; thousands of people flocked to the city for opening ceremonies, and it’s doubtful that they were complaining about the mild weather.

The human participants in the race, known as ‘mushers’, typically take around ten days to finish the 1,000 mile trail, though in 2014 Dallas Seavey finished the race in a record time of eight days, 13 hours, 4 minutes, and 19 seconds.

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Alaska Warmed Over: Race Dogs Move North In Search Of Snow
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Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.