The Jr. Iditarod was started in 1978 to give young mushers an opportunity to race a longer distance. The first race in 1978 had two divisions, the junior division, ages 11-4, and the senior division, ages 15-17. Today there is only one division for kids ages 14-17. The Jr. is a 150-mile race that usually starts at Knik Lake and end at Willow Lake. The turn around, or halfway point, is at Yentna Station, an Iditarod checkpoint. At Yentna the junior mushers have a mandatory 10-hour stop, or layover. The winner serves as the leader, the first sled, of the ceremonial start for the Iditarod the next weekend. Either the Honorary Musher or a representative of the Honorary Musher rides in the Junior Champion’s sled for 11 miles from 4th & D in downtown Anchorage to Campbell Air Strip. In addition to a Lynden Scholarship, the winner of the Jr. receives a new sled and two airline tickets to Nome to attend the Iditarod Finishers Banquet.
The Jr. Iditarod is traditionally held the weekend prior to the Iditarod. Not only do kids from Alaska participate in the Jr. Iditarod, but there are many kids that come from the lower 48, Canada, and even as far away as Spain. Many of the mushers go on to participate in the Iditarod.
1. Which 2015 Iditarod musher is a former Jr. Iditarod champion?
2. Who won the 2014 Jr. Iditarod?
3. Who won the junior division of the 1978 Jr. Iditarod?
4. Who won the senior division of the 1978 Jr. Iditarod?
5. Who has won the Jr. Iditarod the most times?
6. How many 2015 Iditarod mushers have run the Jr. Iditarod?
7. Scholarships are awarded to the top 5 finishers. After reading Building Character, how are mushers able to spend their scholarships?
8. How many dogs are the junior mushers able to start the race with?
9. What year had the most finishers?
10. How many mushers are signed up for the 2015 Jr. Iditarod?