by Cayce McCarthy. Arts and Entertainment blogger.
Today is a big day in Anchorage, Alaska because today is the beginning of the Iditarod sled dog race. This race is run on the first Saturday of every March. The race begins at 10 a.m. UTC/AKST. This race celebrates the run that historic sled dog Balto and several other teams ran from Anchorage to Nome to get antitoxins to the children of Nome who were suffering a diphtheria outbreak. The race starts on Fourth Avenue at D. Street and runs all the way to the Campbell Science Center.
That 11-mile stretch, however, is only the beginning of the race because on the next day the mushers and their dogs will test their strength to run the 1,000-mile trail all the way to Nome. This race is a huge winter event in Alaska along with other fun activities that coincide with the race. There are approximately 52 mushers and dog teams that have entered the race this year. Some of the mushers have come from across the globe with some from Norway, France, Canada, and Sweden. The race can be viewed on Iditarod.com/live.
It’s really cool that Alaska still celebrates the hard work and effort those teams put in to deliver that life-saving medicine all those years ago. Even though there were many dogs (like Togo) and mushers who contributed to the relay like race it was the lead dog Balto that managed to pull through to the very end. Originally Balto and his team were supposed to be the second to last team but when they reached their checkpoint the musher noticed that no one was there. In order to get the medicine to Nome in time, he decided to keep going. During the last bit of the run, the snow was so blinding that the musher had a hard time seeing but Balto managed to follow his instincts and get the team through the storm to Nome.