Category: Messages to Teachers

Daily Update- 3/17/2012

Hi Boys and Girls,
This will be a quick evening update.  There are 3 teams still out on the trail.  Here’s hoping they will all make the banquet tomorrow night.
Now for today’s update:
DATE: 3/17/2012
TIME: 15:31
47. Jaimee Kinzer      12 days, 15 hours, 58 minutes
48. Matt Failor            12 [...]

Zoom Lens – Dogs Home from Nome

by Sanka W. Dog
There are no roads to Nome so there are no roads home except for Aaron Burmeister who calls Nome home. Years ago, Mary Shields who was the first women to finish Iditarod, turned around and ran her dogs another 800 miles back home to Fairbanks. That’s good but what [...]

Zoom Lens – Pint Size Penny

by Sanka W. Dog
Colleen Robertia is now a veteran of two Iditarod races. Colleen and husband, Joseph, don’t run a kennel that’s filled with designer huskies, they prefer to work with the three R’s – runts, rejects and rescues. Of note is the little lady running in single lead for the trip down [...]

Zoom Lens – Martin and Rohn into Nome

by Sanka W. Dog
The father-son Buser teams were the first mushers to make Front Street on Thursday morning. We’d hiked several blocks down to the snow ramp behind the Subway and Gold Coast Cinema that brings the teams off the sea ice. We stood with Quest champion and Iditarod veteran, Vern Halter, and [...]

Daily Update- 3/16/2012 The Early Edition

Hi Boys and Girls,
Good Morning! Hope everyone has good a good night’s sleep.  Today will be another busy day in Nome with 12+ teams expected to arrive today. There are 20 teams out on the trail. When to you think the Red Lantern Winner will cross the finish. Send me your predictions today.
Now for [...]

Daily Update- 3/15/2012

Hi Boys and Girls,
Almost half the mushers have arrived in Nome.  Please Remember that there are still 29 teams out on the trail.  They are working hard to arrive in Nome.  There is one musher out on the trail that could break another record.  Karen Ramstead and her team of Siberian Huskies (affectionately known as [...]

Daily Update- 3/15/2012 The Early Edition

Hi Boys and Girls,
Good Morning.  It’s going to be another busy day in Nome today.  How is your favorite musher doing?
Now for today’s update:
DATE: 3/15/2012   early edition
TIME: 00:31
FINISHERS: 15. Paul Gebhatdt         10 days 03 hours  35 minutes
16. Michelle Phillips      10 days  08 hours  18 minutes
17.  [...]

Zoom Lens – Unalakleet Happenings

by Sanka W. Dog
On the day Iditarod crowned its youngest champion ever, plenty of other things were going on three hundred miles away in the community of Unalakleet. There was a pie social at the Covenant Church. It was as much fun eating the pie as it was listening to people decide on [...]

Daily update- 3/14/2012 The Race Continues!

Hi Boys and Girls,
How was your day today.  It sure was busy in Nome today.  14 teams have finished the race with 39 teams still on the trail.  The race is NOT over until the red lantern position crosses the finish line.  So stay tuned.  There’s more excitement to come.

Now for today’s update:
DATE: 3/14/2014 [...]

Daily Update- 3/14/2012 The Early Edition- WE HAVE A WINNER

Hi Boys and Girls,
Good Morning! Dallas Seavey became the youngest musher to win an Iditarod.  He turned 25 while on the trail.  Dallas finished the race in 9 days 4 hours and 29 minues.
Congratulations to Dallas.
Now for today’s update:
DATE: 3/14/2014 early edition
TIME: 00:46
FINISHERS: 1. Dallas Seavey   9 days 4 hours 29 minutes
2. [...]

Daily Update- 3/13/2011

Hi Boys and Girls
Did you hear? The winner should cross the finish line tonight!!!!!  Will it be Dallas, Aily, or Ramey, or one of the other front runners!  I can’t wait to find out.

Now for today’s update:
DATE: 3/12/2013
TIME: 11:58
LEADERS: 1.Dallas Seavey,  2. Aliy Zirkle, 3.  Ramey Smith,  4. Aaron Burmeister, 5. Peter Kaiser

Daily Update- 3/13/2012 The Early Edition

Hi Boys and Girls,
The Front runners are almost in Nome.  Dallas Seavey is taking his 8 hour mandatory rest in White Mountain and several teams are approaching White Mountain.  Once a team finishes their mandatory rest, there is only 77 miles left to Nome.  Isn’t this exciting?
Now for today’s update:
DATE: 3/12/2013 early edition
TIME: 00:27
LEADERS: 1.Dallas [...]

Meeting of the Minds in Unalakleet

by Sanka W. Dog
The checker’s list at Unalakleet this morning looked like Who’s Who in the long distance sled dog racing world – Lance Mackey, Martin Buser, Rick Swenson and Hugh Neff were amongst the teams resting on the coast. Consider the collection of Championship hardware between these men. Lance has four Iditarod [...]

MIttens and Ski Poles

by Sanka W. Dog
The population on the Kaltag to Unalakleet portage trail exploded over night. Looking at the Ionearth tracker, that area of the trail held the largest concentration of dog teams compared to anywhere else on the trail. As the mushers made the coast today, we heard one common comment – it [...]

Daily Update- 3/12/2012 The Early Edition

Hi Boys and Girls,
Wow! Things were busy last night on the trail.  There are 5 more scratches-(see below), and the leaders are getting closer to Nome.  The burled arches were constructed yesterday in Nome.  Who do you think will cross the finish line first?  When do you think the leader will make it to Nome? [...]

Zoom Lens – Statistics

by Sanka W. Dog
In a race that’s this close, everyone is looking for some significant sign to predict who’ll be the 40th Iditarod champion. Past recipients of the Wells Fargo Gold Coast Award are listed on the trophy. Consider this – in fifteen of the past 19 years, the first musher to make [...]

Daily Update 3/12/2012

Hi, Boys and Girls,
Does your family play a sport or enjoy an outdoor activity together? Tennis, hiking, basketball, or playing outside? The Iditarod race this year has family members enjoying the race’s challenges outdoors.
Here are some hints about the families in the race. You see if you can find out who they are.
Hint #1: A [...]

Daily Update- 3/11/2012

Hi Boys and Girls,
Time just seems to be slipping away from me today.  Oh yeah, it’s now daylight savings time.  Remember to check your clocks and make sure they are correct.  You don’t want to be late for school tomorrow!
Now for today’s update:
DATE: 3/11/2012
TIME: 12:46
LEADERS: 1. Aily Zirkle,  2. Dallas Seavey, 3.  Aaron [...]

Unalakleet is Ready and Waiting

by Sanka W. Dog
With the Unalakleet checkpoint prepared, race volunteers and villagers have time for some speculation. Aliy Zirkle is in a good position up front. She reached Kaltag three hours ahead of second place defending champion John Baker. Zirkle rested six hours then began the 83-mile trek across the portage trail [...]

Running Iditarod in Five Different Decades

by Sanka W. Dog

In 1977 Bob Chlupach attempted and completed his rookie Iditarod. In total he’s completed ten Iditarods over four decades. The 2012 race makes for running an Iditarod in each of five decades. After graduating with a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Iowa State University, Chlupach took a [...]

Daily Update- 3/10/2012

Hi Boys and Girls,
The race seems to be going so fast.  I hope you are having fun following your favorite team. I’ve been a little busy today.  My humans went away for a little while and I worked very hard on my kennel and housework.  Before I started my daily post, I

thought I’d stretch out [...]

Zoom Lens – Sibes Rock and Roll

by Sanka W. Dog

During the lower 48 supper hour on March 8th, there was a flurry of activity in sending teams out of McGrath. Pat Moon, leaving with 10 of his 12 dogs from Middy Johnson’s Unalakleet team departed at 17:26 followed by Hank Debruin’s Siberians at 17:41 and Karen Ramstead’s Sibes at 17:48. [...]

Zoom Lens – Hello Moose!

by Sanka W. Dog
Moose are having a hard winter. The abundance of snow has made it very difficult for them to forage for food and it’s made it difficult for the large hoofed animals to move around. Moose are seen in places they normally wouldn’t be found, places were it’s easier to find [...]

Race Picture Comes into Focus

by Sanka W. Dog
Who’s leading the race? In the early days and miles of the race, it’s a mathematical challenge to know who’s leading the race. But once the teams have taken the long twenty-four hour layover, the picture comes into focus. When a driver declares the team’s mandatory rest, they’ll be [...]

Zoom Lens – Siberians in McGrath

The Siberians and a whole lot of other teams are resting in McGrath. Hank Debruin came off the Kuskokwim Wednesday afternoon at 16:52 followed by Karen Ramstead at 17:26. Folks tend to flock to the checker’s station to see the handsome Siberians. Both teams came in with a lot of spirit – [...]

Daily update- 3/7/2012

Hi Boys and Girls,
Well it’s day three of Iditarod 40.  The teams are moving really well down the trail.  Several teams have declared their 24 hour mandatory rest.  Congratulations to Aily Zirkle for being the first musher into McGrath and winning the Penn Air Spirit of Alaska Award.

Now for today’s update:

DATE: 3/7/2012

TIME: [...]

Zoom Lens – Baker follows Zirkle into McGrath

by Sanka W. Dog
Eight hours after the PenAir Spirit of Alaska award was presented, thirty more teams have made their way into the checkpoint of McGrath. John Baker followed Aliy Zirkle by about half an hour. Baker, Zirkle and nearly the entire front half of the field continued right on to Takotna, 18 [...]

Zoom Lens – Zirkle Earns Award at McGrath

by Sanka W. Dog
Aliy Zirkle and her 16 dogs climbed off the Kuskokwim River to the luminary lined trail that leads to the checkpoint. Enthusiastic spectators gathered on the mild winter evening with light snow falling and northern lights flickering while a hazy full moon illuminated the checkpoint. One wouldn’t expect to experience [...]

Zoom Lens – Zirkle and Baker race to McGrath

Flying over the Alaska Range in a Cessna is a trip! The two hour flight is filled with incredible scenery on clear days – including an awesome view of Denali. The mountain wasn’t out today but there was plenty of scenery going over Rainy Pass. Traveling above the trail as it runs [...]

Daily Update March 5, 2012

Hello, Boys and Girls,
The Iditarod started March 4, and all the mushers are working their ways down the trail to Rainy Pass and beyond. The mushers first went to Yentna Checkpoint. Some of them went through that checkpoint very quickly, signing in on the checker sheet, and some of them stayed [...]

Daily update- 3/5/2012

Hi Boys and Girls,
How exciting is this! The 40th Iditarod has started.  I was able to watch it yesterday on my computer.  Did any of you get to see the start.  The dogs were so excited.  They were jumping up and down at the start line and couldn’t wait to go.  Good luck to all [...]

Ceremonial Start

Hi Boys and Girls,
The last musher just left the start line of the Ceremonial Start. I bet some of you are wondering why there are two starts to the Iditarod. The Ceremonial start is on the first Saturday of March every year. It takes place on 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage. [...]

Getting Ready

Hi Boys and Girls,
In a few short hours, Iditarod 40 will begin. Today is the Ceremonial Start in downtown Anchorage. Have you ever wondered what it takes to get the roads of downtown ready for dog teams to travel on? Dog teams have different requirements than cars do. They need snow covered [...]

Zoom Lens – Musher Banquet XL

by Sanka W. Dog
In just a couple of days, teams will be passing through the Yentna Station checkpoint at mile forty of the 40th Iditarod. Sixty-six mushers drew bib numbers night at the Musher Banquet. Joe Redington, known to all as the father of the Iditarod has a pair of grandsons [...]

Bib Numbers

Hi Boys and Girls,
Last night at the Musher Banquet, the mushers picked their bib numbers.  This number tells in what order the mushers will leave the start line.  For a complete list go to:
Here you can see what number your favorite musher drew.

Drop Bags

Hi Boys and Girls,
While we’re waiting for the start of Iditarod 40 I wanted to tell you some of the preparations that have taken place in the past few weeks.  The mushers  had to get all their supplies ready for the trail.  Have you ever wondered how they get all the food they and the [...]

Teacher on the Trail 2013 Finalists

Hi Boys and Girls,

Can you believe that it’s almost time for Iditarod XL to begin.  Are you getting ready?  Have you picked a musher to follow yet?  I’m just so excited, I hope you are too.

Every year the Iditarod Education Department picks a teacher to be the Teacher on the Trail.  Do you know [...]

Zoom Lens – Junior Iditarod

The Juniors arrive at Yentna Station Roadhouse about the same time the snow begins to fall. They’ll take a ten-hour rest before running seventy-five miles to the finish at Willow.  The trail from the Knik Lake to Yentna Station was hard and fast.   These dogs are looking forward to a hearty meal and [...]

Eleven Head to Start of Junior Iditarod by Sanka W. Dog

The Junior Iditarod mushers have drawn their bib numbers and will be heading to the staging area on Knik Lake for the 10:00 start on Saturday February 25th. The mushers ranging in age from 14 to 17 will take a seventy-five mile route out to their layover at Yentna Station Roadhouse. After resting [...]

Zoom Lens – German Rookie by Sanka W. Dog

Rookie musher, Silvia Furtwängler, has been mushing for twenty-seven years and was inspired to do the Iditarod after completing the Yukon Quest, another 1,000-mile race in 2003. Silvia was born in Germany and has since immigrated to Norway where she owns a tour guide business and thirty-seven sled dogs. Currently she and her [...]

Zoom Lens – Bacon’s Acres Sunset by Sanka W. Dog

As the sun sets this evening, there are two days left before the start of the Junior Iditarod and only 10 days until the restart of Iditarod on Willow Lake. Right now it seems to be snowing all around us except for this break in the clouds to the west. Musher Kirk Barnum [...]

Solo Musher Nenana to Nome

by Sanka W. Dog
It was late at night and he was weak. The last of his hot drink and snacks had been devoured by noon. The rest of his food was stowed deep inside his sled bag. Retrieving it was not an option. His mind was on the safety cabin ahead [...]

The Trail to Alaska, Part IV – Muncho Lake by Sanka W. Dog

We’re heading down from 4,250 feet, the highest point on the Alaskan Highway. Visibility at the summit was limited – maybe a quarter of a mile. We had to drive very cautiously. We have a saying in Wisconsin – if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes it’ll change. Lucky [...]

Trail to Alaska, Part III – Summit Lakes

We’re back on the road, looking at Dawson Creek and Mile Zero in the rearview mirror. This portion of the Alaskan Highway is also known as British Columbia Highway 97. Ellie has told me that we’re going to see amazing things today. We’ll be going up and over the Canadian Rockies and [...]

2012 Mushers… Preparing for the Starting Line!

Hello Boys and Girls,
The school year is going fast.  Can you believe it’s already December?  While you’ve been working hard in school and learning new things, the same can be said about the Iditarod mushers, too.
By now, the deadline for signing up for the 2012 Iditarod has gone by and we officially have 67  mushers [...]

Veterans and Rookies

Libby here!
The mushers have signed up to run the 2012 Iditarod.
Some of the mushers are veterans.  Some of the mushers are rookies.
A veteran is a musher who has raced in Iditarod and finished the race.  A rookie is a musher who has never finished an Iditarod race.  Just like veteran racers, rookies have raced in [...]

The Trail to Alaska, Part II – Dawson Creek by Sanka W. Dog

I can’t believe I’m actually standing at mile 0.0 of the infamous Alaska Highway! It’s my black lab friend Ellie and me traveling with Ellie’s human Pam Flowers. Oh this is so exciting, I can hardly keep from jumping and barking! From my last story you know the history of this storied [...]

Trail to Alaska by Sanka W. Dog

Ever wonder how the dog teams from the lower 48 – perhaps Michigan, Colorado or Montana get to Alaska to compete in the Iditarod? They drive and there aren’t many choices for routes. They take the notorious Alcan Highway. My black lab friend, Ellie, travels the highway frequently. Hoping that [...]

40 Years Ago

Libby Here!
I wasn’t around 40 years ago.  Were you?
The first Iditarod race was held 40 years ago.  Reaching Nome wasn’t easy because the trail was not marked very clearly.  Mushers had to help clear the trail as they traveled.  They also had to hunt for food.
Today,  trail breakers on snow mobiles mark the trail before [...]

Woof, Woof, Howling About the School Year!

Hello Boys and Girls,
With the school year off to a great start, I wanted to let you and your teachers know that the 2012 Iditarod promises to be an exciting race!  This race is the 40th running of Iditarod.  So what are we going to do to celebrate 40 years of Iditarod?
Well, first, we’re going [...]