On the Trail with His Dogs by Ishmael Streever of the Alaska Teen Media Institute

March 9, 2011 in Youthcast by Molly Adams

As a kid who read the Jack London novels Call of the Wild and White Fang and saw their movie adaptations, as well
as Iron Will, I am now forever enchanted by sled dog racing. And the organizers of the Iditarod in Alaska play off that sentiment, billing it as “The Last Great Race on Earth.” And while I still dream of someday racing it, I know in my heart that that is a tough reality to achieve. It takes years of training, thousands of dollars, and a much tougher disposition than my own.

Seiji Takagi, pictured at right, started mushing when he was in second grade. And if you look at the bios of almost all of the people who ran the Junior Iditaord this year, they say they started racing as young as four but at least in elementary school. The dream dies a little more each year…

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The Iditarod is now in it'a fourth day. Follow along on the official website.

Sound like a pro: SB Nation has compiled a recent and long past history of the race, coupled with facts about the current crop of mushers.

Over on Change.org, a writer shows what he sees as corporate irresponsibility in Target's endorsement of the Iditarod (under what I think is a sensational headline.) In the comments on that post,  there is a smart debate about whether the sport is cruel or needlessly pushes the dogs. Good points are made all around. Jump in the convo yourself on the Iditarod Forums.