Shorter race, new challenges: a cancel for 2021 Iditarod
Postmark Pursuit by Molly Goad
The 2021 Iditarod — the 49th iteration of the famous Alaskan sled dog race — is in the books, and a postmark is available to commemorate it.
Of course, the 2021 race looked a little different because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Race officials restricted spectators, so when the competition kicked off on March 7, roughly 300 people were at the start, compared to 6,000 in years past.
Participants underwent COVID testing, masks were worn, and the route was adjusted to an approximately 848-mile course called the Gold Trail Loop ending in Willow, Alaska.
Normally, the mushers follow the traditional 1,000-mile course to Nome, Alaska. The shorter route didn’t make things any easier for the mushers, though. Instead of spending the nights in schools or community buildings, they slept in tents in the wilderness most of the time.
On March 15, Dallas Seavey of Talkeetna, Alaska, finished in first place with a time of 7 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds. This is the veteran musher’s fifth title.
The postmark for this historic race has been extended for 30 days; to obtain it, address your request to: BIG RACE Station, Postmaster, 3720 Barrow St., Anchorage, AK 99599-9998, March 7.
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