Iditarod: The Last Great Race On Earth!

March 27, 2020

If you’re missing sports, we understand. Every significant sports tournament has been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. And if re-watching past games has gotten a tad boring, there is one event that could have had you biting your nails to the finish line. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, otherwise known as The Last Great Race on Earth, lasted a full nine days (for the winner), but every minute was exciting for fans of dog sledding as competitors raced across Alaska.

Credit: Robert Hallinen/Iditarod Trail Committee.
Thomas WaernerÕs sled dog team enters the finish chute to win the 2020 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Front Street in Nome, AK on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Waerner finished the race across Alaska from Anchorage to Nome in a time of 9 days 10 hours and 37 minutes. (Photo by Bob Hallinen)

Norway’s Thomas Waerner was declared the winner of this year’s Iditarod. The race, a thousand miles long, took Waerner nine days, ten hours, thirty-seven minutes, and forty-seven seconds to complete with his fourteen dogs. Second place? Mitch Seavey from the US took six extra hours for the second spot. How did Waerner keep his lead? By listening to his dogs, according to the musher (or driver of the dogsled). He said he gave them the rest they needed as well as nutritious treats to keep them plodding on the long run. Interestingly, Waerner was awarded Rookie of the Year in 2017, a prize that went to Mille Porsild this year, a Danish adventurer. She is also a polar traveler, having made fifteen long-haul polar expeditions with freight dogs. A mistake she believes she made that cost her the win? Oversleeping during the ten-day race. That’s a problem we can all probably relate to!