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#1
http://iditarod.com/

Anybody else follow the Iditarod? Last great race left.
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#6
it would be better if it was humans pulling a dog driver
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#8
thought this was outlawed by now
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#9
I don't follow it, but I will now. Mushing is awesome, and if you've never done it you're missing out.

PS - the dogs love it

Also, this is cool.
#12
Quote by TunerAddict
it would be better if it was humans pulling a dog driver

That happens frequently.
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#13
Lived an Alaska for several years (my eldest was born there), saw the start of the race regularly.

Anyone who whines about mistreatment of animals hasn't the foggiest ****ing idea of the rules in place for this.

I was there for the Susan Butcher era, and the t-shirts that read "Alaska, where men are men and women win the Iditarod!"

I also remember when Rick Swenson won in '91 and said "You can all put those shirts back in the closet for another year!"
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#16
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
I don't really get the appeal


Ever done anything seriously competitive?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#19
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
Yes, but I've never strapped myself to a dog in doing so regrettably.


Regale us, what is it you've done that was competitive at this level?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#20
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
Yes, but I've never strapped myself to a dog in doing so regrettably.


Is voluntary obstinateness one of your competitive endeavors
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#22
Quote by Arby911
Regale us, what is it you've done that was competitive at this level?

I was the guy who controlled the remote control boat that squirrels would water ski behind.
#23
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
I was the guy who controlled the remote control boat that squirrels would water ski behind.


Ah! A near-exact analog, I sit corrected...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#25
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
So the appeal is competition for competition's sake then or what?
That is always at least a part of any competition. Sorting and ranking and all that.
#26
Doggies!
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#27
Quote by seanlang01
That is always at least a part of any competition. Sorting and ranking and all that.

I understand that, I'm still not going to watch competitive cup stacking though. I was just curious what people enjoy about following the iditarod other than just it being a competition.
#28
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
So the appeal is competition for competition's sake then or what?


The 'appeal' is probably different for every competitor, but the general appeal of being the best under extreme conditions, where not only are the other competitors, time, strategy and rules against you, but the elements themselves is a pretty big part of it.

It's interesting in that it's an 'individual' competition, but to win you need a team. This team, like any other world-class team, needs every competitive advantage it can get (food, exercise, discipline etc.) except that you can't tell them what you need, you have to show them. An elite group of athletes that just happen to be dogs, and one person as their coach AND a team-mate. (If you think the human is entirely in charge, you've never been around a lead dog in a sled team...)

And the humans involved are athletes as well, as the more they run (all the while encumbered by sufficient clothing to endure the extremes of wind and cold) the less the dogs have to pull. Riding the sled or running another mile can be the difference between winning and losing. (The difference between 1st and 2nd has been as low as a single second over the course of ~12 days and 1100+ miles...)

As for why I follow it? Because I enjoy competition that requires the best a person can muster over the long haul. Almost anyone can give 100% for a few seconds, fewer for a few minutes and far fewer over the course of a few hours, but damn few can do it at this level for a week and a half. I respect that.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
Last edited by Arby911 at Mar 3, 2014,
#29
Quote by Arby911
The 'appeal' is probably different for every competitor, but the general appeal of being the best under extreme conditions, where not only are the other competitors, time, strategy and rules against you, but the elements themselves is a pretty big part of it.

It's interesting in that it's an 'individual' competition, but to win you need a team. This team, like any other world-class team, needs every competitive advantage it can get (food, exercise, discipline etc.) except that you can't tell them what you need, you have to show them. An elite group of athletes that just happen to be dogs, and one person as their coach AND a team-mate. (If you think the human is entirely in charge, you've never been around a lead dog in a sled team...)

And the humans involved are athletes as well, as the more they run (all the while encumbered by sufficient clothing to endure the extremes of wind and cold) the less the dogs have to pull. Riding the sled or running another mile can be the difference between winning and losing. (The difference between 1st and 2nd has been as low as a single second over the course of ~12 days and 1100+ miles...)
Thanks for the thoughtful post, I think there was a misunderstanding between us though - I meant from a spectators perspective on the iditarod, not as a competitor.

Especially since this is a once a year event and the sport and athletes/dogs themselves are not really advertised (at least not where I am) it seems like it would be difficult for someone new to the sport to choose someone to support and get really involved in following their progress with no background story or narrative about how they got there.
#30
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
Thanks for the thoughtful post, I think there was a misunderstanding between us though - I meant from a spectators perspective on the iditarod, not as a competitor.

Especially since this is a once a year event and the sport and athletes/dogs themselves are not really advertised (at least not where I am) it seems like it would be difficult for someone new to the sport to choose someone to support and get really involved in following their progress with no background story or narrative about how they got there.


I revised my post to address that, but you're right, it's a niche market sport at best. There are several other races, but none are very well known in comparison. Unless a person lives in an area where this is 'big' or chooses to follow it (Yay, Internet!) it's unlikely they would ever have much knowledge about it.

Also, given the elapsed timeframe I can't see it ever becoming popular with the general viewing public, given our 'soundbite' attention span.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#32
Quote by Arby911
I revised my post to address that, but you're right, it's a niche market sport at best. There are several other races, but none are very well known in comparison. Unless a person lives in an area where this is 'big' or chooses to follow it (Yay, Internet!) it's unlikely they would ever have much knowledge about it.

Also, given the elapsed timeframe I can't see it ever becoming popular with the general viewing public, given our 'soundbite' attention span.

Yeah, by nature it doesn't really seem to lend itself to widespread popularity. Then again the Tour de France is a pretty big thing so who knows how it'll unfurl in the future.
#33
I remember my English class following this when we read The Call of the Wild. Both had dogs pulling sleds in Alaska but I don't think they were very similar beyond that.
#38
Iditarod once. It wasn't my thing.
Quote by Trowzaa
I wish I was American.

~ A Rolling Potato Gathers No Moss ~
#39
Quote by JackWhiteIsButts
Yeah, by nature it doesn't really seem to lend itself to widespread popularity. Then again the Tour de France is a pretty big thing so who knows how it'll unfurl in the future.

Way more people ride bikes to work than ride sleds strapped to a pack of huskies.
#40
Quote by Thrashtastic15
Way more people ride bikes to work than ride sleds strapped to a pack of huskies.
If you ever saw the day after tomorrow you'd know that new york is going to be buried in snow any time now so perhaps that will change.
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