You can’t compare it to any other competitive event in the world! A race over 1150 miles of the roughest, most beautiful terrain Mother Nature has to offer. She throws jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, dense forest, desolate tundra and miles of windswept coast at the mushers and their dog teams. Add to that temperatures far below zero, winds that can cause a complete loss of visibility, the hazards of overflow, long hours of darkness and treacherous climbs and side hills, and you have the Iditarod. A race extraordinaire, a race only possible in Alaska

From Anchorage, in south central Alaska, to Nome on the western Bering Sea coast, each team of 12 to 16 dogs and their musher cover over 1150 miles in 10 to 17 days

It has been called the “Last Great Race on Earth” and it has won worldwide acclaim and interest. German, Spanish, British, Japanese and American film crews have covered the event. Journalists from outdoor magazines, adventure magazines, newspapers and wire services flock to Anchorage and Nome to record the excitement. It’s not just a dog sled race, it’s a race in which unique men and woman compete. Mushers enter from all walks of life. Fishermen, lawyers, doctors, miners, artists, natives, Canadians, Swiss, French and others; men and women each with their own story, each with their own reasons for going the distance. It’s a race organized and run primarily by volunteers, thousands of volunteers, men and women, students and village residents. They man headquarters at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, Nome and Wasilla. They fly volunteers, veterinarians, dog food and supplies. They act as checkers, coordinators, and family supporters of each musher.

An Event For All Alaska
Anchorage is the starting line — a city of over 250,000 people, street lights, freeways and traffic. From there the field of dog teams which grow in number each year, runs to Eagle River, Checkpoint # 1. After a restart in the Matanuska Valley at Wasilla, the mushers leave the land of highways and bustling activity and head out to the Yentna Station Roadhouse and Skwentna and then up! Through Finger Lake, Rainy Pass, over the Alaska Range and down the other side to the Kuskokwim River — Rohn Roadhouse, Nikolai, McGrath, Ophir, Cripple, Iditarod and on to the mighty Yukon — a river highway that takes the teams west through the arctic tundra.

The race route is alternated every other year, one year going north through Cripple, Ruby and Galena, the next year south through Iditarod, Shageluk, Anvik.

Finally, they’re on the coast — Unalakleet, Shaktoolik, Koyuk, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and into Nome where a hero’s welcome is the custom for musher number 1 or 61!

The Beginning
The first true Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race to Nome started in 1973, after two short races on part of the Iditarod Trail in 1967 and 1969 ( there was no race in 1968 because of the lack of snow ). The idea of having a race over the Iditarod Trail was conceived by the late Dorothy G. Page. In 1964, Page was chairman of the Wasilla-Knik Centennial and was working on projects to celebrate Alaska’s Centennial Year in 1967.

She was intrigued that dog teams could travel over land that was not accessible by automobile. In the early 1920's, settlers had come to Alaska following a gold strike. They traveled by boat to the coastal towns of Seward and Knik and from there, by land into the gold fields. The trail they used is today known as The Iditarod Trail, one of the National Historic Trails as so designated by the Congress of the United States. In the winter, their only means of travel was by dog team.

Iditarod Today
The race has started in downtown Anchorage since 1983. The teams leave the start line at the corner of 4th and “D” at two minute intervals, starting at 10 a.m. There are usually over 65 teams starting and some years even more.

Race Winners

Year Musher Lead dog(s) Time (h:min:s)
1973 Dick Wilmarth Hotfoot 20 days, 00:49:41
1974 Carl Huntington Nugget 20 days, 15:02:07
1975 Emmitt Peters Nugget & Digger 14 days, 14:43:45
1976 Gerald Riley Puppy & Sugar 18 days, 22:58:17
1977 Rick Swenson Andy & Old Buddy 16 days, 16:27:13
1978 Dick Mackey Skipper & Shrew 14 days, 18:52:24
1979 Rick Swenson Andy & Old Buddy 15 days, 10:37:47
1980 Joe May Wilbur & Cora Gray 14 days, 07:11:51
1981 Rick Swenson Andy & Slick 12 days, 08:45:02
1982 Rick Swenson Andy 16 days, 04:40:10
1983 Rick Mackey Preacher & Jody 12 days, 14:10:44
1984 Dean Osmar Red & Bullet 12 days, 15:07:33
1985 Libby Riddles Axle & Dugan 18 days, 00:20:17
1986 Susan Butcher Granite & Mattie 11 days, 15:06:00
1987 Susan Butcher Granite & Mattie 11 days, 02:05:13
1988 Susan Butcher Granite & Tolstoi 11 days, 11:41:40
1989 Joe Runyan Rambo & Ferlin the Husky 11 days, 05:24:34
1990 Susan Butcher Sluggo & Lightning 11 days, 01:53:23
1991 Rick Swenson Goose 12 days, 16:34:39
1992 Martin Buser Tyrone & D2 10 days, 19:17:15
1993 Jeff King Herbie & Kitty 10 days, 15:38:15
1994 Martin Buser D2 & Dave 10 days, 13:05:39
1995 Doug Swingley Vic & Elmer 10 days, 13:02:39
1996 Jeff King Jake & Booster 9 days, 05:43:13
1997 Martin Buser Blondie & Fearless 9 days, 08:30:45
1998 Jeff King Red & Jenna 9 days, 05:52:26
1999 Doug Swingley Stormy, Cola & Elmer 9 days, 14:31:07
2000 Doug Swingley Stormy & Cola 9 days, 00:58:06
2001 Doug Swingley Stormy & Pepi 9 days, 19:55:50
2002 Martin Buser Bronson 8 days, 22:46:02
2003 Robert Sørlie Tipp 9 days, 15:47:36
2004 Mitch Seavey Tread 9 days, 12:20:22
2005 Robert Sørlie Sox & Blue 9 days, 18:39:30
2006 Jeff King Salem & Bronte 9 days, 11:11:36
2007 Lance Mackey Larry & Lippy 9 days, 05:08:41

Seward Alaska - The Beginning
The main route of the Iditarod trail extends 938 miles from Seward in the south to Nome in the northwest, and was first surveyed by Walter Goodwin in 1908, and then cleared and marked by the Alaska Road Commission in 1910 and 1911.

The entire network of branching paths covers a total of 2,450 miles. Except for the start in Anchorage, the modern race follows parts of the historic trail.

Burl Arch - The Finish Line
The official finish line is the Red "Fox" Olson Trail Monument, more commonly known as the "burled arch", in Nome. The original burled arch lasted from 1975, until it was destroyed by dry rot and years of inclement weather in 2001. The new arch is a spruce log with two distinct burls, similar but not identical to the old arch. While the old arch spelled out "End of the Iditarod Dog Race", the new arch has an additional word: "End of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race."

A "Widow's Lamp" is lit and remains hanging on the arch until the last competitor crosses the finish line. The tradition is based on the kerosene lamp lit and hung outside a roadhouse, when a musher carrying goods or mail was en route.

On the way to the arch, each musher passes down Front Street, past a saloon once owned by Wyatt Earp, and down the fenced-off 50-yard end stretch. The city's fire siren is sounded as each musher crosses the finish line. While the winner of the first race in 1973 completed the competition in just over 20 days, preparation of the trail in advance of the dog sled teams and improvements in dog training have dropped the winning time to under 10 days in every race since 1996.

Collectible Pins

Year Pin Pewter, Silver, Gold, Pewter, Lapel, Buttons






Iditarod 1983 Pin

Iditarod 1983 Lapel Pin
1984 Iditarod - 1984  Iditarod - 1984 lapel
1985 Iditarod - 1985 William Spear 1985 Iditarod  Alaska's Iditarod - Jostens
1986 1986 Iditarod 1986 Iditarod Lapel
1987 Iditarod - 1987
1988 Iditarod - 1988
1989 1989 Silver Iditarod
1990 1990 Iditarod
1991 1991 Iditarod 1991 Iditarod Silver
1992 1992 Iditarod 1992 Iditarod Lapel
1993 Iditarod - 1993 Iditarod - 1993 Pewter Iditarod Volunteer  - 1993  Iditarod Silver - 1993
1994 Iditarod - 1994 Iditarod - 1994 Silver Ingot Iditarod - 1994 Pewter Iditarod - 1994 Lapel Iditarod Volunteer - 1994
1995 Iditarod - 1995  Iditarod Pewter Lapel - 1995
1997 1997 Iditarod 1997 Pewter Iditarod 
1998 1998 Iditarod 1998 Pewter Iditarod
1999 1999 Iditarod  1999 Pewter Iditarod
2000 2000 Iditarod  2,000 Iditarod Pewter
2002 2002 Iditarod
2003 2003 Iditarod 2003 Iditarod Pewter .
2004 2004 Iditarod 2004 Iditarod Pewter 
2005 2005 Iditarod Pewter
2006 2006 Iditarod 2006 Iditarod Pewter
2007 2007 Iditarod Pewter
Other Iditarod Pins
1997  This is a Dodge Dealer sponsor pin commemorating the Iditarod but
its year is unknown as of this posting.
?  This is a Dodge Dealer sponsor pin commemorating the Iditarod but
its year is unknown as of this posting.
?  This is a Dodge Dealer sponsor pin commemorating the Iditarod but
its year is unknown as of this posting.
1980  This trail pin was released in the 80's but the exact date is uncertain at this time.
 ?  This trail pin was released to celebrate the Iditarod but actual release date is not know as of this posting.
1988 Iditarod Volunteer - 1988  
1989 Burl Arch Finish Line  
Idita-Walk 2007 To get this pin, you had to complete the Idita-walk where you register to walk 30 minutes a day for 35 days between February 3, 2007 to March 18, 2007 for a total of 1049 minutes same distance as the Iditarod.
? Member - 1" x 1 1/2"
? Fast Times On Front Street This Wm. Spear Designed pin from Juneau, Alaska celebrates the Fast Times On Front Street during the Iditarod
 ?  This pin is given to Members of the Iditarod upon joining.
? Lions Club - Mountain View Anchorage  

This stunning pin features the map of Alaska and a sled dog.


? Iditarod This pin celebrates the Iditarod, but details of it's release and edition size are not known at this time.
? Regal Hotel - 1 7/8" x 1"

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