Iditarod mushers, map, distance and more: Everything to know about the 2024 dog sled race

Each year in March, dogs and mushers assemble in Alaska for one of the most grueling and challenging races any sport has to offer.

The 2024 Iditarod, also known as “The Last Great Race on Earth,” will begin on March 2, in Anchorage. A team of one musher and 12-14 dogs will race about 1,000 miles to Nome.

Because of the time and location, sled teams may endure tough weather conditions. Temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit, whiteouts, and blizzards are all realistic possibilities to consider.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this year’s Iditarod, including the trail, start and end dates, and history of winners.

What is the Iditarod?

The Iditarod is the most popular dog sled race in the world. Teams of one musher and 12-14 dogs race about 1,000 miles across Alaska from Anchorage to Nome. The 2024 race will be the event’s 52nd annual competition.

Typically, the race takes between 8-15 days, but the longest time was 32.5 days.

When does the Iditarod start and end?

  • Start date: Saturday, March 2 (ceremonial start)

The Iditarod begins on the first Saturday in March, so the 2024 competition will start on March 2. The starting line will be in Anchorage, Alaska, which is located in the south-central portion of the state.

The Iditarod takes on average 8-15 days to complete, depending on the weather. Heavy snow, whiteouts, and blizzards can significantly slow down a sled team.

Iditarod mushers 2024

There are 38 mushers participating in the 2024 Iditarod. A majority of the mushers are from Alaska, with 27 competitors hailing from in-state. There are 16 first-time participants in this year’s historic race. 

There are four international mushers, two of which are in the 2024 rookie class. Here’s the list of all 38 competitors:

Name Sex City State Country Status
Erin Altemus F Grand Marais MN USA Rookie
Travis Beals M Seward AK USA Veteran
Anna Berington F Knik AK USA Veteran
Aaron Burmeister M Nome/Nenana AK USA Veteran
Severin Cathry M Airolo   Switzerland Rookie
Calvin Daugherty M Sterling AK USA Rookie
Jeff Deeter M Fairbanks AK USA Veteran
Paige Drobny F Cantwell AK USA Veteran
Gabe Dunham F Willow AK USA Rookie
Lauro Eklund M Two Rivers AK USA Rookie
Matthew Failor M Willow AK USA Veteran
Benjamin Good M North Pole AK USA Rookie
Matt Hall M Two Rivers AK USA Veteran
Anna Hennessy F Willow AK USA Rookie
Jessie Holmes M Brushkana AK USA Veteran
Peter Kaiser M Bethel AK USA Veteran
Hunter Keefe M Knik AK USA Veteran
Lara Kittelson F Battle Ground WA USA Rookie
Jessica Klejka F Wasilla AK USA Veteran
Jason Mackey M Fairbanks AK USA Veteran
Connor McMahon M Carcross Yukon Territory Canada Rookie
Bryce Mumford M Preston ID USA Rookie
Deke Naaktgeboren M Fairbanks AK USA Veteran
Amanda Otto F Victor ID USA Veteran
Nicolas Petit M Big Lake AK USA Veteran
Mats Pettersson M Kiruna   Sweden Veteran
Mille Porsild F     Denmark Veteran
Ryan Redington M Knik AK USA Veteran
Jeff Reid M Two Rivers AK USA Rookie
Will Rhodes M Two Rivers AK USA Rookie
Joshua Robbins M Willow AK USA Rookie
Wally Robinson M Nenana AK USA Veteran
Jessie Royer F Seeley Lake MT USA Veteran
Dallas Seavey M Talkeetna AK USA Veteran
Isaac Teaford M Salt Lake City UT USA Rookie
Josi Thyr F Fairbanks AK USA Rookie
Bailey Vitello M Milan NH USA Veteran
Sean Williams M Chugiak AK USA Rookie

There have been six mushers to withdraw from the 2024 Iditarod thus far, with the most notable being 2023 Rookie of the Year Eddie Burke Jr.

Burke was initially disqualified from the race due to assault allegations. After the charges were dropped, the Iditarod Trail Committee reinstated him. Burke had leased his dogs out to other mushers after being disqualified, so he said it was too difficult to get his team back when reinstated, thus opting out completely.

Brent Sass, the 2022 Iditarod champion, was also disqualified due to “violence against women.” That said, the Iditarod Trail Committee did not offer an explanation and Sass does not have any criminal cases in Alaskan court, according to Alaska Public.

Iditarod trail map

There are two trails for the Iditarod dog race. The northern route is used in even years and the southern route is used in odd years. The 2024 Iditarod will take place on the northern route, which can be seen below.

Northern route

Northern-Route-Iditarod-031720-FTR

(Iditarod)

Checkpoints Distance between Checkpoints* Distance from Anchorage Distance to Nome
Total Distance 975
Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip 11 11 964
Willow to Yentna Station 42 53 922
Yentna Station to Skwentna 30 83 892
Skwentna to Finger Lake 40 123 852
Finger Lake to Rainy Pass 30 153 822
Rainy Pass to Rohn 35 188 787
Rohn to Nikolai 75 263 712
Nikolai to McGrath 48 311 664
McGrath to Takotna 18 329 646
Takotna to Ophir 23 352 623
Ophir to Cripple 73 425 550
Cripple to Ruby 70 495 480
Ruby to Galena 50 545 430
Galena to Nulato 37 582 393
Nulato to Kaltag 47 629 346
Kaltag to Unalakleet 85 714 261
Unalakleet to Shaktoolik 40 754 221
Shaktoolik to Koyuk 50 804 171
Koyuk to Elim 48 852 123
Elim to Golovin 28 880 95
Golovin to White Mountain 18 898 77
White Mountain to Safety 55 953 22
Safety to Nome 22 975 0

Southern route

Southern-Route-Iditarod-031720-FTR

(Iditarod)

Checkpoints Distance between Checkpoints* Distance from Anchorage Distance to Nome
Total Distance 998
Anchorage to Campbell Airstrip 11 11 987
Willow to Yentna Station 42 53 945
Yentna Station to Skwentna 30 83 915
Skwentna to Finger Lake 40 123 875
Finger Lake to Rainy Pass 30 153 845
Rainy Pass to Rohn 35 188 810
Rohn to Nikolai 75 263 735
Nikolai to McGrath 48 311 687
McGrath to Takotna 18 329 669
Takotna to Ophir 23 352 646
Ophir to Iditarod 80 432 566
Iditarod to Shageluk 55 487 511
Shageluk to Anvik 25 512 486
Anvik to Grayling 18 530 468
Grayling to Eagle Island 62 592 406
Eagle Island to Kaltag 60 652 346
Kaltag to Unalakleet 85 737 261
Unalakleet to Shaktoolik 40 777 221
Shaktoolik to Koyuk 50 827 171
Koyuk to Elim 48 875 123
Elim to Golovin 28 903 95
Golovin to White Mountain 18 921 77
White Mountain to Safety 55 976 22
Safety to Nome 22 998 0

How many miles is the Iditarod?

The Iditarod is around 1,000 miles, but the exact distance varies based on which route the teams take.

In even years like 2024, teams will race on the 975-mile northern route. In odd years, teams will race the 998-mile southern trail.

Iditarod winners history

There have been 25 different Iditarod winners in the history of the “The Last Great Race on Earth.”

Last year’s winner, Ryan Redington, will look to defend his title. If he wins, it would be the first back-to-back champion since Dallas Seavey three-peated from 2014-16.

Seavey won his fifth title, tying Rick Swenson for the most of all-time, in 2021 with the fastest winning time in history.

Here are the year-by-year champions of the Iditarod, dating back to its inception in 1973.

Year Winner Winning Time
2023 Ryan Redington 8d 21h 12m 58s
2022 Brent Sass 8d 14h 38m 43s
2021 Dallas Seavey 7d 14h 8m 57s
2020 Thomas Waerner 9d 10h 37m 47s
2019 Peter Kaiser 9d 12h 39m 6s
2018 Joar Leifseth Ulsom 9d 12h 0m 0s
2017 Mitch Seavey 8d 3h 40m 13s
2016 Dallas Seavey 8d 11h 20m 16s
2015 Dallas Seavey 8d 18h 13m 6s
2014 Dallas Seavey 8d 13h 4m 19s
2013 Mitch Seavey 9d 7h 39m 56s
2012 Dallas Seavey 9d 4h 29m 26s
2011 John Baker 8d 18h 46m 39s
2010 Lance Mackey 8d 23h 59m 9s
2009 Lance Mackey 9d 21h 38m 46s
2008 Lance Mackey 9d 11h 46m 48s
2007 Lance Mackey 9d 5h 8m 41s
2006 Jeff King 9d 11h 11m 36s
2005 Robert Sorlie 9d 18h 39m 31s
2004 Mitch Seavey 9d 12h 20m 22s
2003 Robert Sorlie 9d 15h 47m 36s
2002 Martin Buser 8d 22h 46m 2s
2001 Doug Swingley 9d 19h 55m 50s
2000 Doug Swingley 9d 0h 58m 6s
1999 Doug Swingley 9d 14h 31m 7s
1998 Jeff King 9d 5h 52m 26s
1997 Martin Buser 9d 8h 30m 45s
1996 Jeff King 9d 5h 43m 0s
1995 Doug Swingley 9d 2h 42m 19s
1994 Martin Buser 10d 13h 2m 39s
1993 Jeff King 10d 15h 38m 15s
1992 Martin Buser 10d 19h 17m 15s
1991 Rick Swenson 12d 16h 34m 39s
1990 Susan Butcher 11d 1h 53m 23s
1989 Joe Runyan 11d 5h 24m 34s
1988 Susan Butcher 11d 11h 41m 40s
1987 Susan Butcher 11d 2h 5m 13s
1986 Susan Butcher 11d 15h 6m 0s
1985 Libby Riddles 18d 0h 20m 17s
1984 Dean Osmar 12d 15h 7m 33s
1983 Rick Mackey 12d 14h 10m 44s
1982 Rick Swenson 16d 4h 40m 10s
1981 Rick Swenson 12d 8h 45m 2s
1980 Joe May 14d 7h 11m 51s
1979 Rick Swenson 15d 10h 37m 47s
1978 Dick Mackey 14d 18h 52m 24s
1977 Rick Swenson 16d 16h 27m 13s
1976 Jerry Riley 18d 22h 58m 17s
1975 Emmitt Peters 14d 14h 43m 15s
1974 Carl Huntington 20d 15h 1m 7s
1973 Dick Wilmarth 20d 0h 49m 41s

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