Anchorage Offers Dog Sledding Adventures

Travelers have a chance to be a part of the action in the Iditarod

In Anchorage, Alaska, world renowned dog sled races are providing travelers with a chance to be a part of the action either as a handler for a world champion sprint team or a rider in the sled of an Iditarod musher.

“These are unique opportunities for visitors to experience an adventure exclusive to Alaska and will provide memories to last well beyond the holiday,” said Julie Saupe, President and CEO of the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau. “These two opportunities certainly provide an unforgettable experience.”

A highlight of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous celebration, the Open World Championship Sled Dog Race is one of the best known dog sled sprint races in the world. Clients can join in the excitement in 2009 as a member of the K-9 Crew, a program that allows participants to get up close to some of the fastest sled dogs in the world. As a K-9 Crew member, participants will get to know the mushers and help handle their dog teams.

Each crew member will receive a custom K-9 Crew jacket and credentials for race access. The cost is $500 per crew member, per day.

The three-day race will take place Feb. 27 through March 1, 2009, in Anchorage, Alaska, in conjunction with the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous festival. The race debuted in 1946 and it is known to be one of the toughest sled dog sprint races in the world. A cornerstone event for Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, it brings teams of sled dogs and drivers to Anchorage from across Alaska and the world. The 25-mile sprint race rushes through the city and can be viewed at multiple locations throughout the community neighborhoods.

Thrill seekers can also ride in the basket of an Iditarod musher at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race slated for March 7. Thousands of spectators will watch more than 1,600 of the toughest sled dogs and their mushers anxiously await the start of the “Last Great Race.” Guest participants or IditaRiders will be tucked snugly in sled baskets, and will have an up-close view of the action as they are pulled through the snow by 16 elite sled dogs. IditaRider spots are auctioned off through Jan. 23. The auction raises money for the Iditarod Trail Committee General Fund.