Actually, the first thing the Iditarod Sled Dog Race watcher needs is enough sleep, especially towards the end, when it can get very tense whether your favorite starts the compulsory 8-hour rest close enough to the front runners to catch them on the short final stretch to Nome. Newcomers to this tense race are then tempted to wait out the layover; experienced watchers catch some sleep the minute the first three or four mushers are in, because they know you don’t want to miss a moment of that last sprint, on which Dallas Seavey famously has come from hours behind to win from Aliy Zirkle. It could happen again, it could even happen to Dallas. (Don’t bet the house on that last wild speculation, though.)
Next you need plenty of nutritious snack food and hydration because you won’t have time to cook anything demanding, and your family will soon be glued to the screen next to you.
Information without which you can’t follow the Iditarod
These, and only these, are pages of essential information you should keep open on your computer screen, neatly cascaded for instant reference. Other pages you open you should close instantly you finish with them, or soon you will drown in inessential information, and you’ll miss crucial bits of the race because you couldn’t find the right page.
First, the page that will be your action control center. This is where the selected most relevant news arrives hot and ready to your screen.
Next you need to know when it happens, so here’s Alaskan clock you can scale to the space available on your screen by simply dragging the bottom right hand corner.
You also need to know who it happens to, so here’s a list of the usual suspects, complete with mug shots; they’ll look worse towards the end of the race.
Of course, the question of why it happens to her will strike you with great force, and the answer is often Alaska’s perfectly predictable weather: it will turn lethally nasty at unpredictable times.
Aliy Zirkle running hard for Nome
This is the page for one of my books at my publisher, which collects other essential Iditarod information in one place.
Finally, the only guaranteed way to judge the progress of a dog team and its musher is from checkpoint to checkpoint, so you need a checkpoint progress sheet.
Andre operates a special page for live Iditarod race reports where you’re welcome to join him.