Iditarod Fast Facts

(CNN)Here's a look at the Iditarod dogsled race. The event is named after the Iditarod Trail, an old mail and supply route, traveled by dogsleds from Seward and Knik to Nome, Alaska.

March 6, 2021 - The Iditarod is scheduled to begin.
March 18, 2020 - Thomas Waerner wins his first Iditarod.


    The race traditionally begins on the first Saturday in March, starting in Anchorage and ending in Nome.
    The beginning of the race in Anchorage is considered a ceremonial start. The competitive part of the race usually begins the next day in Willow, but depends on weather conditions.
    There may be only one musher (person who drives the sled) per team.
    There are 12-16 dogs on each team. At least five dogs must be in harness (pulling the sled) at the finish line.
    The most popular breed of dog is the Alaskan Husky, according to National Geographic. The animals get tested for strength and endurance before being selected.
    There are about 25 checkpoints at which each participant must stop.
    The musher must make a mandatory 24 hour stop at some point during the race.
    The route alternates every other year, one year going north through Cripple, Ruby, and Galena, the next year going south through Iditarod, Shageluk, and Anvik.


    Most Consecutive Wins - Lance Mackey won four consecutive times from 2007-2010.
    Most Wins - Rick Swenson won five times, in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1991.
    Fastest winning time - Mitch Seavey finished the 2017 race