Last weekend the journey to the Iditarod became even more real for Iditarod rookies. The weekend of December 6-7 was the Iditarod Rookie Meeting. All rookies attend this mandatory meeting. A rookie is a musher who is running the race for the first time or who has never completed the race. Several topics are covered during the meeting, from dog care to self-care. Taking care of the dogs is a primary focus for the mushers. Early detection of potential issues in the dogs was a major topic of discussion among the mushers. In order to prevent issues with their dogs, the mushers listened to veterinarians and veteran mushers talk about run-rest schedules. An equal run to rest schedule is popular among many mushers. For instance, running the dogs for three hours would require a three hour rest.
In addition to caring for their dogs, self-care was emphasized to the mushers. Sleeping, staying hydrated, and eating properly were among the topics. Veteran mushers described that there are going to be highs and there are going to be lows. It is important for the rookie mushers to focus on the moment and let go of the negative moments.
This week, Iditarod Trivia Tuesday focuses on the rules of the Iditarod. This is a great time for you and your students to get yourself familiar with the rules of the race, since it is right around the corner. I am challenging you to a scavenger hunt. Give your students a copy of the Iditarod rules or allow them to use a computer to access the Iditarod website. You can make this a competition to see which student/group can find the answers to all the questions first. If your students are “experts” at the race, challenge them to answer the questions without using the rule book. The student/group to get the most correct wins. To access the rules you will need to go to www.iditarod.com. Once there, click on the Race Center tab and scroll down to Iditarod Rules.
Iditarod Rules Scavenger Hunt
1. What is the minimum age requirement to enter the Iditarod?
2. What is the current entry fee?
3. There are 3 mandatory stops on the Iditarod trail. When and where must the musher make these stops?
4. The rule book states a musher must have certain mandatory items with them at all times. What are these mandatory items?
5. What type of dogs are allowed to race in the Iditarod?
6. A musher must qualify to run the Iditarod. What are the qualifications?
7. When will mushers draw for their starting spots?
8. When and where will the 2015 Iditarod start?
9. When and where is the 2015 Iditarod restart?
10. How many sleds can be used during the race?
11. What is the maximum/minimum number of dogs a musher can start with?
12. What is the minimum number of dogs a musher must have to be able to finish the Iditarod?
13. Can a musher substitute a driver to take their spot?
14. The teams do not start as a mass start. How many minutes apart do teams start the race?
15. What do the rules state about passing on the trail?
16. Are mushers allowed to use cell phones?
17. What is the maximum number of entries the Iditarod will accept?
18. How many pounds of food must be shipped to the checkpoints prior to the race?
19. What does rule 31 state about “Outside Assistance”?
20. Who is eligible for drug testing – mushers, dogs, or both?