Well, the first dog has died in this year’s Iditarod. Frankly, I’m surprised it took this long, and I’m sad to say it’s extremely likely there’ll be more. Turns out that forcing dogs to run 125 miles a day through subzero temperatures may not be all that good for them. Shocker. Obviously, this is common sense to those of us who act like we’re living in the year 2007, but apparently the Iditarod folks like to pretend they’re paying homage to the original race, which was along a mail route to deliver an emergency supply of diphtheria serum (whatever that is) to Nome.
Anyway, Iditaroders, next time you guys need some diphtheria serum delivered, I’m sure FedEx will be glad to help you out with that. And let’s be real here, this race is about money, plain and simple—you’re not preserving heritage or paying homage to anyone by running a few hundred dogs into the frozen ground every year.
The upshot here is that there are countless alternatives to this cruel tradition. How about a ski race along the same route—the Iskidarod maybe? Or an eBay sponsored marathon auction—the Ibidarod? The world’s largest game of hide and seek—Ihidarod. A marathon film festival—Ividarod? There actually is an event in California called the Ikidarod, where kids pull sleds on a beach, and the reality is that there really are 1001 ways for the Iditarod folks to line their pockets without hurting dogs.
Anyway, here’s to hoping that no more dogs die this year . . . Oh, and if you’re so inclined you can let the Iditarod sponsors know you feel about this absurd race here.