Iditarod Race

  Have you ever heard of Iditarod Race?? It is a dog sled race over 1150 miles of roughest  mountains, tundras, frozen rivers with blizzard weather (wind power 60miles/hour )with temperature -40F.

Race starts from Anchorage to Nome in Berin Sea coast and they finish race taking 10-17 days with 12-16 sled dogs. This race has started in 1973.

  Common sled dogs are Huskies,Eskimos,malamute and Samoyed. They have thick coat and wide flat feet. It is interesting to know that where each dog is positioned is decided according to their ability.

 Fastest dog is the lead dog,and runs the top front.Behind him is the swing dog that direct team around turns and curves.and back dogs are wheeler,usually largest, strongest dog. They wear doggie boots to protect the paws.

  Here is the easy picture of sled dog position.Click here for picture.

 After reading how the race works,I was wondering how the dogs can do that without being tired or get sick from hard weather. 

  Here is what I have found. It is related to dog physiology. Below is from American Physiological Society conference in South Carolina.

” Dogs can adapt to sustained, strenuous exercise. Four days into the Iditarod, the dogs’ biochemical profile returns to where it was before the race began, as though nothing had happened.

 Elite human athletes, in contrast, show signs of fatigue after continuous exercise and require recovery time.And, Iditarod dogs possess an enormous aerobic capacity, which refers to the ratio of volume of oxygen to body weight per minute.

 A fully conditioned sled dog’s aerobic capacity is twice that of an untrained sled dog.Lastly,each approximately 55-pound sled dog can burn up to 12,000 kilo calories per day, which is the equivalent of 24 McDonald’s Big Macs. A human would have to consume and efficiently process the equivalent of 72 Big Macs to fuel a day’s Iditarod run. “

 On the Iditarod Race official site,you can see some clips of racing. I think this sport is most toughest sled sports and also a test of endurance with beautiful views on background.

 In conclusion, I think that canine sports are all about teamwork with human. Agility,flyball,sled racing etc…Doing something with your dogs and having fun together,challenging together,I think spending time together like that is great.

Do you do any canine sports with your dogs??

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Oct 20, 2008 | 0 | Miscellaneous (dogs)

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