Just about a million dogs getting ready for the Iditarod sled-dog race
Imagine tons of adorable dogs, gathered together to go on the journey of their lives. If you happened to be in Anchorage, Alaska last night, this was scene at the start of the 45th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
More than 70 dogs gathered in preparation for the 1,000-mile race, which starts in Settler’s Bay and ends in Nome.
The first race was held in 1973 and is held annually on the first week of March. The trail typically takes between 10 and 15 days to complete, and is no easy feat. The dog teams, led by their human musher counterparts, traverse challenging frozen terrain.
The official Iditarod site describes just how intense the conditions of this race are.
It says the course includes, "jagged mountain ranges, frozen river, 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."
Dog sledding is an important part of Alaskan history and culture, and an event that the state rallies around. If you were a child of the ’90s, you likely remember Balto, the movie based on the 1925 serum run that saved Nome during a deadly diphtheria epidemic. The real Balto was guided by Norwegian musher Gunnar Kaasen who arrived with antitoxins to help fight the disease. So amazing.
But the event isn’t just exciting for Alaskans. The whole world gets riled up for these dogs, and Twitter was no exception.
Check out some of the best (and cutest) tweets from the start of the race.
Ouch, our hearts.
The start line.
Ready to mush.
Dogs on the loose!
Look at those dogs go. false
Rounding that curve like a bunch of pros.
So much fan support.
They’re so impressive and adorable.
Looks like it’s time to get to Alaska!