The Iditarod is one of the only sports that you can follow right now. Due to the coronavirus, most of the other pro sports were cancelled including the NBA, March Madness, and the MLB. Don’t dismay! Following the Iditarod is extraordinarily exciting, fun, and pleasurable for your whole family.

The Iditarod is a competitive dog sled race across the frozen tundra of Alaska.  The path of the Iditarod today mostly traces the path of the 1925 serum run. This was a transport of Diphtheria medication by relay to save the town of Nome, Alaska.  This year’s Iditarod includes 57 mushers, the competitors who drive the dog sleds, each with up to 14 sled dogs.  The race started on Sunday, March 8, in Willow, Alaska and will likely continue through to March 19 or 20, when it concludes in Nome.  Mushers and their dog teams must fight blizzards and sub-zero temperatures along the treacherous path.

You can start following the race on Iditarod.com were you will find things like a GPS tracker, current standings, live web cams, and information about the sled dogs.  One idea might be for you and your family to place the names of the top ten mushers in a hat and each member can select a musher to root for.  You can even do this with friends, family, and co-workers in different homes.

In my third-grade class we were each assigned a musher to follow. I follow Matthew Failor.  Throughout the day, I enjoy checking his progress, learning about his dogs, and understanding why during certain sections he will opt for one lead-dog versus two as well as other reasons to use certain groupings of dogs.

I hope you enjoy learning about the Iditarod and please let me know which musher you pick and how he or she fares!

Stay healthy,

Your friend Jackson

Jackson is the 9 year old son of partner Wendy Heilbut