The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the longest dog mushing race in North America, has slid across Alaska.
The race covers nearly 1,600 kilometres (1000 miles) from Anchorage to Nome, across some of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. Add to that temperatures far below zero, high winds, low visibility and long hours of darkness and respect grows for these magnificent mushers.
The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, started out as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward to Nome. Mail and supplies went in and gold came out, all carried by dog sled.
The sleds also saved the lives of the people of Nome in 1925, when diphtheria ran riot and the serum ran out, until the dog sled teams were sent out to get more.
If you didn’t get to Anchorage to watch this incredible race, there are plenty of dog sled operators around Alaska to give you a taste of this time-honoured tradition.