In the winter of 1925, a deadly outbreak of diphtheria struck fear in the hearts of Nome residents. The nearest quantity of antitoxin was found to be in Anchorage more than thousand miles away. Winter ice had closed the port city from the outside world and fierce territory-wide blizzard conditions prevented delivery of a life-saving serum by airplane from Anchorage. A relay of dog sled teams with the best dog mushers available was organized to pick up and deliver the serum back to Nome. They crossed mountain passes, frozen tundra's and rivers.
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The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this historic event and honors the mushers, the true heroes that have put themselves at risk to safe others. The Iditarod, "The Last Great Race," is considered one of the world's toughest sporting competitions. It is extremely difficult because of a musher's dependence on the dogs. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race a small event at first, has evolved into the world famous sled dog race it is today. It has become a commercial circus, sponsorship deals, television shows and often hunderds of people waiting-chearing for their hero's at checkpoints and finish line. The Iditarod sled dog race has become a reflection of our time.
The Invitational is almost the opposite. Every year the Invitational starts with 50 people on foot, bicycles or skis heading out into the Alaska wilderness. Searching for the true adventure, challenging themselves to the limit. Competitors will endure destructive thoughts, hunger, sleep deprivation and the cold is an ever present threat, often plummeting to -40C. There’s no safety net – any trouble you get yourself into you’ll also have to get yourself out of.

Almost nobody expects Invitational competitors to arrive at the checkpoints or even the finish line. Even if they do, they will win nothing and can expect little fanfare for the achievement. Since the inaugural year of 2000 only 42 Individuals have finished the race to Nome, only five of those have been women.

Why would anyone attend? Who are these people who decide to bike and push-a-bike, or simply walk across frozen, white Alaska wilderness to McGrath, mile 350 or even on to Nome at mile-1100? Why? And why is it that this race, in its true adventures and pure form, gets so little attention from mainstream media?


Aerialtronics, frozenendurance
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frozenendurance, sony