||History of the Iditarod
At the turn of the 20th century The Iditarod Trail was used as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond
Mail and supplies went in, gold came out - all via dog sled in the winter
Gold mining began to wane, people went back to where they had come from, and the trail was used less and less
Airplanes ( in the 1920's) signaled the beginning of the end of dog team travel in interior Alaska
In 1925, part of the trail became a life saving highway as diphtheria threatened Nome and life-saving serum was taken by dog teams in relays from Nenana to Nome
The late Dorothy G Page and the late Joe Redington, Sr. organized a short distance race in 1967 to commemorate the early use of the trail and the dog teams. That race was part of Alaska's Centennial celebration that year.
After a second short race in 1969, the first "long distance" Iditarod (from Anchorage to Nome) ran in 1973, the first of what has been 36 sled dog races along this trail.
Congress declared the Iditarod Trail a National Historic Trail in 1978.
Thousands of volunteers from Anchorage to Nome who make it all happen.