Dedicated to Iditarod Volunteers                                                                                                          

Iditarod First ten years
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Iditarod Frank Flavin
photo by Rob Stapelton  

Dedicated to the Volunteers, without whom the Iditarod race would never have happened.

That’s the absolute truth. There would be no Iditarod without the volunteers who gave so selflessly of their time, money, and effort. We hope to honor them with this book.

The contributions of the hundreds of tireless volunteers over the years are the very foundation of Iditarod. Those volunteers with their own selfless, dedicated zeal grew Iditarod into today’s reality. The volunteers’ ultimate gift to society is one of the only true and lasting personal legacies. We all wanted the Iditarod Trail Race to be successful; we wanted a big purse, but more than that, we wanted to create an institution that endured as a testament to the history of Alaska and the Alaskan spirit. We wanted a reminder of what a privilege it is to be living in the North Country. We wanted Iditarod to retain its

special aura that to be a part of it, whether on the trail or as a volunteer, it was a personal mountain to climb. When we reached the summit, it was something very special.

Several years ago, a small group of old friends gathered to discuss the events of our lives and the changes in Alaska over the past decades. One topic of conversation that we kept going back to was the time when all of us were involved in the origin of a great Alaskan event—the Iditarod race. Since all of us had been intimately involved in the start of the race, we each started telling stories and remembering incidents that had never been recorded—some sad, some funny, but all very real.

It was suggested that we should put together a collection of our stories for a book about the first ten years of the race. We all enthusiastically agreed— especially since we were all discussing a period of time
  decades earlier—and we did not want more time to pass and memories to fade before these stories were written.

Much has been published about the mushers and the dogs involved in the race. We envisioned our book as a lasting tribute to all the early volunteers who put everything on the line to help make the race happen. The longer we worked on collecting stories and memories for this book, the more names we uncovered and the more information we gathered. We held reunions in Wasilla, Nome, and Fairbanks for all the original volunteers and mushers we could find and contact. Through these events, we were able to put together the outline for this story.

As you read this bit of history about an incredible time and event in Alaska, we hope you will say to yourself “Man, I wish I could have been there!”

—The Old Iditarod Gang


Iditarod the First Ten Years ™
An anthology compiled by The Old Iditarod Gang, LLC™
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