It’s almost upon us again! The greatest sled dog race in the world, the Iditarod, will take place in Alaska during early to mid-March. 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of this incredible event.
Last year’s victor, Dallas Seavey, will be competing to try and become the first musher in history to win the Iditarod on six occasions. Other esteemed names in the mushing world will also be competing, including former winners Martin Buser, Peter Kaiser and Joar Leifseth Ulsom.
In this article, we’re going to preview the event and give you all the information you need to enjoy the 2022 Iditarod!
When does the 2022 Iditarod begin?
The 2022 Iditarod is scheduled to begin at 10:00am AKST (2:00pm EST, 11:00am PST) on Saturday, March 5, 2022, with the traditional ceremonial start taking place through the streets of downtown Anchorage, AK. This is a great way for fans to get a close view of mushers and their sled dog teams.
The race will be restarted at 2:00pm AKST (6:00pm EST; 3:00pm PST) on Sunday, March 6, 2022. This marks the official start of the event for timing purposes.
What is the route for the 2022 Iditarod?
After a shortened ‘Gold Trail’ route in 2021 to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the race returns to its traditional, ‘even year’ route this year – the northern route.
This route diverges from the southern route when mushers reach the checkpoint at Ophir, approximately 350 miles into the race. The northern route passes through Cripple, Ruby, Galena Nulato and Kaltag, which marks the rejoining of the northern and southern routes for the final quarter of the race.
Check out the map of the route on the official Iditarod website.
How long is the 2022 Iditarod route?
According to the route map, the 2022 Iditarod race will span 975 miles from Anchorage to Nome. The exact number of miles covered by entrants may differ depending on trail conditions.
Who is competing in the 2022 Iditarod?
As of February 9, 2022, there were 51 mushers listed on the Iditarod entry list as competing in the 2022 Iditarod. These entrants include reigning champion, Dallas Seavey (Talkeetna, AK), in addition to former victors Martin Buser (Big Lake, AK), Mitch Seavey (Seward, AK) and Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Norway).
Based on the entry list on February 9, 2022, the entrants are comprised of:
- 38 veterans and 13 rookies;
- 34 male competitors and 17 female competitors;
- Competitors from the United States, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and France.
The following competitors have family members competing in the 2022 Iditarod:
- Dallas Seavey (five-time Iditarod winner – 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2021) and father Mitch Seavey (three-time Iditarod winner – 2004, 2013 and 2017);
- Anna and Kristy Berington (twin sisters);
- Husband Jeff Deeter (veteran, finished 12th in 2021) and wife KattiJo Deeter (rookie).
What is the prize money for the 2022 Iditarod?
The purse for the 2022 Iditarod stands at a minimum of $500,000, with higher percentages paid to those finishing in the top 20 places. Entrants from 21st place onwards who finish the race will receive $1,049 in prize money.
The entrant fee for the 2022 Iditarod was $4,000 prior to November 30, 2021, and $8,000 after November 30, 2021.
How can I watch the Iditarod?
Both the ceremonial start (Saturday, March 5) and restart (Sunday, March 6) will be streamed live on Iditarod.com. Coverage is also typically provided and streamed online by local network KTUU2.
Additional video content can be accessed throughout the race by signing up for an Iditarod Insider subscription through the official Iditarod website.
Who won the 2021 Iditarod?
Dallas Seavey won the 2021 Iditarod in a time of 7 days, 14 hours, 8 minutes and 57 seconds. This marked Seavey’s fifth Iditarod victory, equalling Rick Swenson’s record (Swenson won the race in 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 1991).
Our Iditarod Podcast Episodes
Here at A Life of Dogs, we were privileged to be able to experience the 2020 Iditarod first-hand. We loved seeing the ceremonial start in Anchorage and tracking the progress of the mushers we had the pleasure of meeting.
In the buildup to this year’s race, why not take a moment to listen to some of our podcast episodes?
- The Iconic Race of the North – listen to the first episode in our series on the Iditarod, following our visit to Alaska for the 2020 edition of the race.
- Peak Performance – learn how mushers, veterinarians and organizers work together to ensure the safety and protection of dogs competing in the Iditarod.
- Short Notice – the story of Sean Underwood in the 2020 Iditarod, who was called in to replace mushing legend Jeff King just four days before the start of the race.
- [Bonus Content] Interview With Matthew Failor – an interview with musher Matthew Failor, providing insight into his Iditarod experiences.
Whether you’re competing in the race itself, attending the ceremonial start in Anchorage, or keeping track of events from anywhere around the world, we hope you enjoy the 2022 Iditarod!