In the winter of 1925 many in Nome, Alaska were getting sick. They were coming down with a bacterial disease in the respiratory tract known as diphtheria. The closest serum was six hundred fifty miles away in Anchorage. There were no pilots available to fly the serum from Anchorage to Nome. The serum was transported as far as possible by railroad and then carried north to Nome by a series of relay dog sled teams thus was born the Iditarod. That first run with the serum in 1925 mushers and dogs endured temperatures forty below zero and colder with winds as high as eighty miles an hour. The last team arrived in Nome with the serum in less than six days.
The race covers over one thousand miles from Anchorage to Nome covering a similar route the first dog teams covered back in 1925. This is a grueling race for the mushers and the team of dogs. The winner received fifty thousand dollars and a new truck. Dallas, Mitch's son won the race last year. I'd need even more incentive to run in that race. The race was won this year by the oldest winner in history, and a winner in 2004, by Mitch Seavey. The fifty three year old completed the course in nine days, seven hours, thirty nine minutes and fifty six seconds crossing the finish line Wednesday. Mitch crossed the finish line just twenty four minutes ahead of Aliy Zirckle a transplant from New England. Mitch says she will win many Iditarod races in the future.