The 2021 Iditarod – world’s greatest dog sled race – is in the books. Some of our Plunderers – a very special sub group here at the blog – have sent in their takes. Many thanks to Hobbit, WATP, and Carol for the following:

“This was Aliy Zirkle’s last race before retiring after 11 Iditarods and 10 Yukon Quests. Aliy had a strong and vocally supportive fan base hoping she would win this one after coming in so close in prior races. However, she was seriously injured on the trail coming into the Rohn checkpoint–the 5th of 17 checkpoints. She was medivaced to an Anchorage hospital and is now recovering at home.

The Anchorage newspaper reports: ‘Sheets hang over the windows to block out light at the Two Rivers home where Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore live. Moore speaks to his wife in whispers, and Zirkle doesn’t go outside or online. Since crashing her sled and her skull on the ice last week in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Zirkle has avoided light and sound because of a head injury. Tuesday was the first day she hasn’t vomited, Moore said early in the afternoon, and she still can’t lift an arm that was dislocated when she hit the ice and was dragged by her team for an unknown distance across glare ice on the Tatina River….She hasn’t been able to look at a phone or a computer yet, it just hurts her brain too much.’”

“I continue to follow the Iditarod each year, including this year,, although it is somewhat less compelling without the Snowhook dogs involved. The one thing that struck me this year, which has happened in prior years as well, is how devoted most of the mushers are to their dogs, and the recognition that the dogs are the true heroes of the event. I think as long as that sentiment continues, the Iditarod should continue as America’s Last Great Race as well.”

“A bit of Iditarod history:
Dallas Seavey has won his 5th Iditarod (2012,2014,2015,2016,2021) which ties with Rick Swenson–the “King of the Iditarod”– who won 5 times in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, and 1991. Rick has completed in the most Iditarods (34) and has finished in the top ten 24 times. His last Iditarod was in 2012. Mushers who have won four times: Susan Butcher, Martin Buser, Jeff King, Lance Mackey, and Doug Swingley. Susan is the only musher to win in four consecutive years.

Wells Fargo withdrew its sponsorship in 2017. No reason was given but rumor had it that there was pressure from animals rights groups. In 2020 more major sponsors withdrew citing pressure from PETA. in 2021 Exxon announced this was the last year it would sponsor the race. Next year with be the Iditarod’s 50th year–how much longer will this “last great race” last?”





This entry was posted on Saturday, March 20th, 2021 at 8:39 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Iditarod”

  1. Herd of Hounds
    9:17 am on March 20th, 2021

    We have worried about the last great race, too. If anyone has seen those dogs, they truly love to run. We feel it is a shame that a vocal group like Peta has so much power. We hope that the 50th Iditarod will happen.
    Hey, maybe we should ban marathons, the Tour de France, and other events which are epic. The Iditarod is truly a feat!

  2. B. Stover
    11:14 am on March 20th, 2021

    Thanks for the info.

    Great day to all.

  3. Wose-The Small and Meek
    3:31 pm on March 20th, 2021


    Thanks for the Iditarod round-up. Hopefully, the cancel culture will not come for the Iditarod.

    Good afternoon to all!

  4. dawson
    11:07 pm on March 20th, 2021

    Interesting post. I meant to write something about the women running the Iditarod but got distracted. I did not know that major sponsors were pulling out. That is too bad. Just think of the tourist dollars the Iditarod brings to local businesses. Back when we were watching the Snowhook team run there were 70 + mushers signed up. That number has decreased by 20 or so the last few years.
    Was definitely an exciting vacation going up to see the Iditarod and Alaska and so wonderful meeting Hobbit, Justin and Rebecca (and some of the Plunderers!) learning about dog kennels, meeting the dogs, going on a sled ride and enjoying fantastic hospitality. I’d recommend it!

  5. mlaiuppa
    3:56 am on March 21st, 2021

    PETA. Humph. More like PITA.

    Their “shelter” kills more adoptable animals than any high kill shelter. In the 90%s. Often the animals come in the front and are led directly out the back to “the room.”


    I won’t discuss the Iditarod. But I will say I do not trust a word from an organization who considers the only good pet to be a dead pet.

    Nor will I pay any attention to an organization that accuses others of cruelty when their own people take puppies and kittens from shelters under the pretense of finding them homes, then euthanizes them in the back of a van and disposes of them in a dumpster.

    Sorry to be so graphic but PETA pushes all of my buttons and not in a good way.

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