The Iditarod web site explains it best:
More than a race...a Commemoration
The race pits man and animal against nature, against wild Alaska at her best and as each mile is covered, a tribute to Alaska's past is issued. The Iditarod is a tie to -- a commemoration of -- that colorful past.
The Iditarod Trail, now a National Historic Trail, had its beginnings as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps at Flat, Ophir, Ruby and beyond to the west coast communities of Unalakleet, Elim, Golovin, White Mountain and Nome. Mail and supplies went in. Gold came out. All via dog sled. Heroes were made, legends were born.
In 1925, part of the Iditarod Trail became a life saving highway for epidemic-stricken Nome. Diphtheria threatened and serum had to be brought in; again by intrepid dog mushers and their faithful hard-driving dogs.
The Iditarod is a commemoration of those yesterdays, a not-so-distant past that Alaskans honor and are proud of.
How about that picture? Is that human interest or what? Check out the Iditarod web site for yourself, but hurry, we mush on Saturday, March 5.
-- Dalton Hammond