66 mushers and their dogs have embarked on a 2-week snow-covered 1,570km journey across Alaska at the world’s largest 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The vehicles with the specially trained dogs have become a long-standing means of transport in icy cold regions such as Northern Europe and North America. No longer serving as a viable means of transportation as in the past, dog wagons can only be found through Jack London’s book page or traditional sled dog competitions like the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
This is the 40th time the race has been held. Dubbed the last great race on earth, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of the world’s oldest, most famous and toughest competitions.
This year’s race attracted 4 participating countries and thousands of fans came to watch live. This is a sporting event with bold cultural characteristics. The atmosphere at the starting and ending points was filled with dogs barking, smiles, and the intimacy of the audience and contestants.
The rewards for the winners are not much, compared to large races that require the same level of adventure, endurance and long race time in difficult weather conditions. The total prize pool of $ 550,000 was awarded to 30 groups of dogs pulling the first place, of which the champion received $ 50,400 and a new truck.
The sled dogs are selected, nurtured and taught to run only. The main breeds chosen for sled are Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute. Occasionally spectators can see a few Canadian Eskimo-like dogs on the track. The average speed of a greyhound can be up to 32km / h, overcoming distances up to 40km.
According to the tradition of sled dog training that has existed for hundreds of years in cold snow regions, a herd of greyhounds include the leader, the pilot dog (right behind the leader), the speed dog and the wheeled dog. The speed dogs and the middle wheel and the towed tail lock, are dogs with high speed, strength and stamina.