Everything you need to know about the 2021 edition of the Last Great Race On Earth!
When does the 2021 Iditarod start?
The 2021 Iditarod will begin on Saturday March 6, 2021 at 10:00am local time. This is the ceremonial opening of the race. This traditional beginning to the race allows spectators to get up close with mushers and their dogs.
The race is restarted on Sunday, March 7, 2021, at 2:00pm. This restart is where the official timing of the race begins.
Which route will the 2021 Iditarod take?
As 2021 is an odd-numbered year, competitors in the Iditarod will embark on the southern route. This route passes through the trail’s namesake – the historical town of Iditarod.
According to the official website, the following checkpoints will be part of the Iditarod Trail in 2021. These distances are approximate as the exact placement of the trail can vary from year to year, and affect the precise mileage of the race.
All distances below are in miles.
|Checkpoints||Distance between Checkpoints||Distance from Anchorage||Distance to Nome|
|Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip||11||11||987|
|Willow to Yentna Station||42||53||945|
|Yentna Station to Skwentna||30||83||915|
|Skwentna to Finger Lake||40||123||875|
|Finger Lake to Rainy Pass||30||153||845|
|Rainy Pass to Rohn||35||188||810|
|Rohn to Nikolai||75||263||735|
|Nikolai to McGrath||48||311||687|
|McGrath to Takotna||18||329||669|
|Takotna to Ophir||23||352||646|
|Ophir to Iditarod||80||432||566|
|Iditarod to Shageluk||55||487||511|
|Shageluk to Anvik||25||512||486|
|Anvik to Grayling||18||530||468|
|Grayling to Eagle Island||62||592||406|
|Eagle Island to Kaltag||60||652||346|
|Kaltag to Unalakleet||85||737||261|
|Unalakleet to Shaktoolik||40||777||221|
|Shaktoolik to Koyuk||50||827||171|
|Koyuk to Elim||48||875||123|
|Elim to Golovin||28||903||95|
|Golovin to White Mountain||18||921||77|
|White Mountain to Safety||55||976||22|
|Safety to Nome||22||998||0|
When is the application deadline for the 2021 Iditarod?
Mushers have until midnight on Friday, November 30, 2020 to enter the 2021 Iditarod.
Are there any special criteria for rookies?
For mushers who have never tackled the Iditarod race, there are special requirements before they will be permitted to compete in the race.
Rookies are required to complete qualifying races. These comprise of two approved 300+ mile qualifying races and one 150+ mile qualifying race. Rookies must have their paperwork verified and submitted to the organizing committee in advance of the Iditarod.
How long will the 2021 Iditarod take?
In recent years, the Iditarod has been won in eight to nine days of competition. The exact time varies depending on the weather conditions and trail conditions.
What will the weather be like in Alaska for the beginning of the Iditarod?
Typically, the weather will be freezing for the race start in Anchorage. Maximum temperatures in Anchorage range between 30 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit.
En route, the trail conditions are likely to become more dangerous, with the potential for competitors to be caught in snow drifts and other hazards.
How many teams will compete in the 2021 Iditarod?
As at October 2020, there are 59 musher teams scheduled to compete in the 2021 iteration of the Iditarod. This includes 16 rookie mushers.
For an up-to-date list of mushers competing in the 2021 Iditarod, visit the dedicated page on the official website.
Is the Iditarod broadcast on television?
The ceremonial start of the Iditarod is usually broadcast on local television networks in Alaska. Coverage of the race is also available throughout its duration on the official website, and mushers often post updates of their progress on their social media channels.