Iron Dog? What is an Iron Dog?

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Alaska Dream Makers

Iron Dog? What is an Iron Dog?

An iron dog, for those unfamiliar with the term is a snowmachine and THE Iron Dog is a grueling test of endurance for man and machine. This race is the 'worlds longest snowmobile race' and it runs over 2000 miles. Crazy weather conditions, rugged and unforgiving terrain and some of the most beautiful territory in the world make up this a survival course on snowmachines.

Larry and I went to the start of the race this with my cousins and, although it was cold, we could not imagine what the racers would go through with the windchill factors. Wind chill from the normal weather conditions and also that of the created variety as they race man and machine in the harsh Alaska wilderness.Iron Dog 2011 Alaska Jacque Ficek & TC Marks

View the 2000 mile race route map HERE but remember-the state of Alaska is the size of Texas times TWO!

There are FAQ about the racers, machines and terrain in case you have questions. Pretty interesting information about everything from why duct tape is on the racers faces, how the trail is made and how cold it gets (OK, I have to spoil that one. It can get to MINUS 57 degrees F).

The race ends in Fairbanks and the first place fin

ishers are expected to be at the finish line after noon on February 26. If you would like to track the racers by GPS, you can go to the Iron Dog website and check in.

Jacque & Larry

 

 

Iron Dog 2011 Alaska

 

 

Iron Dog 2011 Alaska

 

 

 

 

Prior to the race, the line up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The beginning of the race

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iron Dog 2011 Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

Even the soda cans are heated so they do not FREEZE in the cold. Imagine what the racers go through!

 

 

 

 

Posted by

www.AlaskaDreamMakers.com

"It's Your Dream, That Makes it Ours, Too!"

Alaska Dream Makers

Larry & Jacque Ficek

Broker/Owner, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR, Realtor®
Broker Associate/Owner, ABR, CRS, GRI, SFR, Realtor®

877-373-1020 toll free      907-373-8000 direct       888-818-6193 fax

*remember that you can choose your own search right from our websites. If you would like a more direct search, you can search on www.AlaskaDreamMakers.com but if you would like a more detailed search with access to property disclosures, plat maps and more, you can go to www.AlaskaDreamMakers.info for this search.

If you are still not sure about moving to the area, or if you simply want to visit our great state,
consider our short term and vacation rentals. Suite Dreams Alaska offers modern, convenient
and fully furnished (down to the silverware and linens) Alaska styled 'cabins.' Visit our website
and call if you have any questions. The cabins are in the heart of Wasilla. Owned and operated by licensed real estate professionals in Alaska (Larry & Jacque Ficek).

 

 

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Rainer
47,226
Patrick Schorle
Pacifica Real Estate Inc. - Sidney, BC
Patrick Schorle

Wow! Thanks for the beautiful pictures of what seems to be a very exciting event! Very cool indeed. Some of these racers must be hard as nails...

Feb 21, 2011 01:32 AM #2
Rainmaker
206,066
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Hi there Tim, it is beautiful country here! Did you see the parka I had on? Did you notice that Larry is not in the picture? He was in the truck warming up! Thank you for taking a look at the pictures.

Most people find it hard to believe that we were out on a frozen ice road to the frozen lake. All the pictures were taken on Big Lake.

 

Jacque & Larry

Feb 21, 2011 01:35 AM #3
Rainmaker
206,066
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Patrick, COOL is the operative word on this one! There are two retired state troopers in the race (hard as nails team 28-John Glass and Joe D'Amico) and our friend in team 17 Andy George with race partner James West.

Jacque & Larry

Feb 21, 2011 01:52 AM #4
Rainmaker
366,569
Kerry L Klun
Tropical Realty of Suntree - Indialantic, FL
321-626-5868 - Space Coast Area Homes

My family is from northern Minnesota.  I always remember there being snow machines in the family.  I distinctly remember tooling around the lake on my grandfather's when I got bored with ice fishing...I was 5 or 6 at the time.  That may sound young to some, but when you grow up around them, it really isn't!

Feb 21, 2011 01:57 AM #5
Rainmaker
206,066
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Hello Kerry, I had a 'Kitty Kat' snowmachine when I was a puppy (as pop called me). I won third place on it when I was about that same age. Of course there were only three kids in the race...

Jacque

Feb 21, 2011 02:00 AM #6
Rainer
30,128
Carrie Trotter
National Property Inspections - Dayton, OH
Home Inspector

Wow - what a race! I can't imagine how cold it must be!!

Feb 21, 2011 07:23 AM #7
Ambassador
665,962
Ann Allen Hoover
RE/MAX Advantage South - Hoover, AL
CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL

I have heard of this but didn't know much about it really.  2000 miles?  Those pictures are fun but it looks so cold!

Feb 21, 2011 08:46 AM #8
Rainmaker
206,066
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Carrie, when you have to put duct tape on your face to keep from frostbite it is COLD! We were just out there to watch them line up, get some autographs for my Indiana family and see them take off and we kept going back to the truck to warm up. You know it is cold when they heat the soda cans to keep them from freezing and exploding!

Ann, we do a lot of odd things up here to bide our time until fishing season. Just kidding! These guys and gals are tough and this race has been going on since 1984. It is similar to the Iditarod (modeled after it) but with iron sleds (snowmachines) instead of sled dogs.

PS The iditarod Race with actual sled dogs starts very soon too. It is right after Fur Rendezvous. A couple more festivals in the brisk winter month of February.

Jacque & Larry

Feb 21, 2011 09:48 PM #9
Ambassador
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Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
Mike Jones NMLS 223495

That's funny!  A heater to keep the cold sodas cold, but not frozen!  ...and I didn't know that the state of Alaska was twice the size of Texas. 

Mike in Tucson

Feb 21, 2011 11:37 PM #10
Rainmaker
651,810
Evelyn Kennedy
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Jacque & Larry:

Thanks for sharing the photos and information about the race.  You Alaskans are a hearty breed.  Good luck to the racers.

Feb 22, 2011 12:19 AM #11
Ambassador
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Robert & Lisa Hammerstein
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Great story and a hearty bunch of you live up there..... Great pics and thanks for sharing that story

Feb 22, 2011 12:22 AM #12
Rainmaker
1,336,359
Vickie Nagy
Vickie Nagy, Broker Associate Realty ONE Group BMC Associates | BRE#01363932 - San Ramon, CA
Broker for San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton

Wow! A 2000 mile race in cold weather? I guess it works if you're dressed for the event.

Feb 22, 2011 12:24 AM #13
Rainmaker
106,679
Traci Ferguson
San Luis Obispo Realtor & ecoBroker with Patterson Realty - San Luis Obispo, CA
Realtor, EcoBroker, LEED AP

Amazing event. You woudln't catch me out there freezing my buns off.:) It looks like it was a good time.

Feb 22, 2011 12:28 AM #14
Rainmaker
206,066
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Mike, we cannot begin to tell you about frozen soda cans in vehicles. If you have never seen it, it is quite comical. Stalactites from the ceiling of some brown drippy but frozen mess, frozen droplets all over and frosted windshields from the inside. GROSS! You just hope that you can catch it before you use that automatic start button and thaw it all out. Then it gets bad. If you do catch it in time and while it is still frozen, you scrape off every bit that you can and then warm up the vehicle, use damp cloths and cleaning solution etc. It can be a crazy mess!

Evelyn, absolutely! It is fun to do something different-I think this is under that definition. :)

Lisa and Robert, you bet! These folks are serious survivalists to be out doing this kind of competition. The water they carry is in pouches next to their skin so it doesn't freeze. Can you believe it?

Vickie, they have to carry their gear too so they do not have much that they can take. They have to pack a lot better than me.

Traci, if you have not guessed from my comments already, I would not have made it. We had to warm up just waiting for it to start! 

Snow angels

This is me and my cousin doing snow angels on the frozen lake. Larry was in the truck warming up still.

This is also what we would have looked like if we stayed out in the cold for much longer...

Jacque & Larry

Feb 22, 2011 02:00 AM #15
Rainmaker
946,082
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty - Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Loomis, Granite Bay, Penryn, Newcastle, Auburn, Meadow Vista (California) - Roseville, CA
Placer County, CA: Foreclosures, Auctions, Rentals

Jacque & Larry, thanks for sharing your Iron Dog Alaska snowmobile race! Like others, I find the "heated soda" concept quite interesting and I laughed at your description of the frozen soda cans in your last comment! :)

Leilani

Feb 22, 2011 02:29 AM #16
Rainmaker
892,863
Michael Setunsky
Michael's Commercial LLC - Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Larry and Jacque, you've really got to love the cold weather to participate in this race. Good luck in the race. Brrrrr

Feb 22, 2011 09:33 AM #17
Rainmaker
150,883
Aaron Seekford
Arlington Realty, Inc. - Arlington, VA
Arlington VA Homes 703-836-6116

Wow, that is so cool Larry and Jacque! I can honestly say that I've never seen soda cans heated before. That is wild!

Feb 22, 2011 10:26 AM #18
Rainmaker
206,066
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Thank you all for taking the time to read about the crazy/fun things we have to do up here. There is more to come!

Leilani, there are more events coming up too that we will share that are a little more for the everyday people (not 2000 miles in the Alaskan wild on a snowmachine).  I am laughing now reading my description again too, it really is what it looks like (stalactites) but I am not willing to put a can in the vehicle to take pictures. Hmmm, maybe I could put one in Larrys truck....it is for the sake of the story. :)

Michael, you have to be able to tolerate it just to watch. The adrenaline of the race keeps them warm too (not for the full week they are out thee). Frostbite and hypothermia are very real issues they have to deal with.

Aaron, when we were were walking down the frozen lake road and saw some of the venders, I saw the heater and the sodas and HAD to take the picture. Who would believe it if they were not from here? The things we do I guess!

Jacque & Larry

Feb 22, 2011 12:07 PM #19
Rainer
356,137
Lauren Selinsky Perez
CA Coastal Estates- Monarch Bay Real Estate DP - Laguna Hills, CA
REO -CEO - CDPE - SHORT SALES - Woman Owned

Bbbbbbrrrrrrrrrr I am cold just reading your blog and looking at you in the snow... Seriously! Sounds like fun though.... I love events like this... We have a snow dog that loves the chilliness and drizzle that the OC has brought lately... (I KNOW... NOT CHILLY FOR YOU....)

(SIR DEMON AT A PLAY DATE AT FRIENDS HOUSE)

Feb 24, 2011 04:52 AM #20
Rainmaker
206,066
Larry & Jacque Ficek
Alaska Dream Makers - Wasilla, AK
Realtors - Wasilla Alaska

Hey there Lauren, we did have fun although we were frozen and could not feel our toes. Sire Demon in gorgeous! He has that look like 'you want me to do what?' Thank you for sharing the picture of him. :)

Our vicious, ferocious poodle decided she would stay home for this particular field trip. Yours is Sir Demon, ours is Tiny Tana Tumbleweed. Can you tell she has an attitude? She was guarding the leftovers on the counter at my parents home.

Jacque & Larry

Tana, our spoiled rotten little poodle girl child

Feb 25, 2011 12:55 AM #21
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