Norski wins the Iditarod

Iditarod Dog sled Anchorage Nome AlaskaDog sled team. Photo: Pixabay.com

Norski wins the grueling Iditarod race

Greetings from Minnesota, USA. This years winner of Iditarod is a Norski, as Norwegians are referred to in our neck of the woods.

 

Norway’s own Joar Leifseth Ulsom has finished first in the 1,000 mile (1,600 km) 2018 Iditarod Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.  The 2013 Rookie of the Year finished the race in 9 days & 12 hours.

The Last Great Race on Earth

This year’s Iditarod has been a grueling event with higher temperatures and windy conditions, blowing snow inland and ground blizzard white outs with 30 knot winds on the Bearing Sea Coast and open sea ice on Norton Sound.

Ulsom is only the second Norwegian to win the most famous dog sled race in the world.

Norway Today wish to remind people of Jack London’s epic novels from the area.

Iditarod, Anchorage Nome Alaska

Iditarod, Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Ill: Google.com

Facts about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (Wikipedia)

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual long-distance sled dog race run in early March from Anchorage to Nome, entirely within the US state of Alaska.

Mushers and a team of 16 dogs, of which at least 5 must be on the towline at the finish line, cover the distance in 8–15 days or more.

The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best sled dog mushers and teams but evolved into today’s highly competitive race.

Then a record, the second fastest winning time was recorded in 2016 by Dallas Seavey with a time of 8 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes, and 16 seconds. As of 2012, Dallas Seavey was also the youngest musher to win the race at the age of 25. In 2017, at the age of 57, Dallas’s father, Mitch Seavey, is the oldest and fastest person ever to win the race, crossing the line in Nome in 8 days, 3 hours, 40 minutes and 13 seconds. Dallas finished second, two hours and 44 minutes behind.

Teams generally race through blizzards causing whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds which can cause the wind chill to reach −100 °F (−73 °C). A ceremonial start occurs in the city of Anchorage and is followed by the official restart in Willow, a city 80 mi (128.75 km) north of Anchorage. The restart was originally in Wasilla through 2007, but due to little snow, the restart has been at Willow since 2008.

The trail runs from Willow up the Rainy Pass of the Alaska Range into the sparsely populated interior, and then along the shore of the Bering Sea, finally reaching Nome in western Alaska.

The trail is through a harsh landscape of tundra and spruce forests, over hills and mountain passes, and across rivers. While the start in Anchorage is in the middle of a large urban center, most of the route passes through widely separated towns and villages, and small Athabaskan and Iñupiat settlements.

The Iditarod is regarded as a symbolic link to the early history of the state and is connected to many traditions commemorating the legacy of dog mushing.

The race is a very important and popular sporting event in Alaska, and the top mushers and their teams of dogs are local celebrities; this popularity is credited with the resurgence of recreational mushing in the state since the 1970s.

While the yearly field of more than fifty mushers and about a thousand dogs is still largely Alaskan, competitors from fourteen countries have completed the event including the Swiss Martin Buser, who became the first foreign winner in 1992.

The Iditarod received more attention outside of the state after the 1985 victory of Libby Riddles, a long-shot who became the first woman to win the race. The next year, Susan Butcher became the second woman to win the race and went on to win three more years.

 

© William J. Knish / #Norway Today

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