The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was first established by Joe Redington, Sr, often called the father of the Iditarod. He started the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in 1973. A small event at first it has evolved into the world famous sled dog race it is today inspiring millions.
He also encouraged Human Powered races on the Iditarod Trail as well with the foresight that "The Trail" would live on. The first snowshoe and cross country ski races were coordinated in the early 1980's. In 1987 Joe Redington Sr. suggested the idea of a 200 mile bike race from Knik to Skwentna as a challenge to the Arctic Bicycle club of Anchorage. And so they did, the Iditabike was born. In 1989 Dan Bull did the first trip to Nome on mountain bikes with three other riders in 21 days.
In 1991 the different divisions were merged into one race called the Iditasport. That year also included a triathlon division. 1992 a runner division was added. Later those races merged in to one race and the Iditasport bike, ski or run race was born. In the year of 2000 the race followed the entire length of the Iditarod Trail to Nome on the Bering coast. The race started attracting athletes from all over the world. Mike Curiak holds the overall record for the fastest time for the 1000 miles: 15 days, 1 hour, 15 minutes, set in 2000. Bill Merchant became race owner and manager in 2002 and transformed the Iditasport in Iditarod trail invitational.