One Sport Still Standing

By Hope Bidegainberry on March 18, 2020
Front view of dog sled racing with huskies and samoyed pulling harness

Last week, the coronavirus annihilated EVERY sport, even the ones that didn’t initially cancel and postpone ended up caving over the weekend.

But there is ONE SPORT left standing . . . DOG-SLEDDING. For decades, the Iditarod has been called the “Last Great Race on Earth,” and for now, it sure seems to be the “Last Great Sport on Earth.”

This year’s course for the Iditarod dog sled race is 975 miles long. It had already begun LAST Sunday, and many racers reached the halfway point last Thursday. It’s still mushing on through Alaska, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

There HAVE been some changes though: Race officials postponed the “Meet the Mushers” event for this coming Saturday, as well as the awards banquet, which was set for Sunday. They’re also urging fans NOT to show up at the finish line.

They’ve also re-routed the course a bit . . . moving checkpoints outside communities. . .and they’ve put up barricades to keep the public away. The mushers will still get the usual food drop bags, straw for bedding, and other supplies.

And at least one person has abandoned the race. Veteran musher Jeremy Keller of Knit, Alaska, scratched on Thursday. He said he wanted to be home with friends and family during this stressful time.

Around the site