Alaska’s Iron Dog Race: The World’s Longest Snowmobile Race

Snowmobiling has always been one of Alaska’s most popular sports. We love it here, and the minute snow hits we get out on our snow machines to tear up the trails. That’s why we’re so excited for the Iron Dog Snowmobile race to arrive. You’ll want to take your Alaska winter car rentals out to see this one, that’s for sure.

Have you heard of the Iron Dog? If not, but you like snowmobiling, you’ll definitely want to read on. It may be worth a trip in your Alaska winter car rentals to catch a glimpse of the winners.

What is the Iron Dog Race?

The Iron Dog Race is the world’s longest snowmobiling race. It stretches across 2,031 miles of Alaskan terrain, making it both intensive and scenic. Rookies and pros alike race across the Alaskan white plains.

As the Iron Dog website outlines, the intent of the race is “to provide reliable, consistent, safe and honorable cross-country snowmobile racing and recreational riding” (2017). It’s about education on safe winter sport, while also recognizing and celebrating the endurance of humans and machines alike. This is particularly true of the Pro Race Class who will face difficult terrains in subzero temperatures, strained visibility, heavy snow and potentially ice, and a confrontation with their own endurance.

Cash prizes range for teams ranging from a whopping $15,000 to $102 for a total of $112,496 total contingency prizes for 2017.

Rookies play in the Recreational Class, which is not a race. The Recreational Class rides for 5 days for a total of 1,098 miles. Teams in the Recreational Class include two or more people, each of whom has their own snowmobile.

Pro teams are engaged in a race, after which the top 5 teams must attend the Sponsors’ Reception for prizes. All rookies (first time pro racers) must attend the Rookie Workshop. Teams must include two or more snowmobilers, each on their own machine to complete the 2,031-mile race.

For both the Recreational Class course and the Pro Race Class, checkpoints will be provided throughout for rest and refueling.

The basics

The race kicks off with its first pre-race event on February 14 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage for the Racer Drawing & Hall of Fame Banquet. Next is the Donlin Gold Safety Expo at Cabela’s in Anchorage on February 15. Two days later on February 17, take your Alaska winter car rentals on down to Anchorage’s Downtown center for the Flying Iron Freestyle Show. This is sure to knock your socks off! You won’t want to miss it.

The next day is race day. February 18 begins the official start of the Iron Dog, while there’s a race day kick-off Flying Iron Freestyle Show in Anchorage Downtown.

Halfway Ceremonies will take place in Nome on February 22. Finally, the race officially ends on February 25 in Fairbanks.

Taking your Alaska winter car rentals from Anchorage to Fairbanks

If you plan on attending any of the events for the Iron Dog Snowmobile Race, you’ll want to book your accommodations soon if you haven’t already. If you already have, great! If not, you may want to book your rooms for the few days leading up to the pre-race events in order to ensure a room, and also to allow yourself relaxation before the fun begins!

Keep in mind also that if you’re going from the opening ceremonies to the closing ceremonies in Fairbanks, you may want to give yourself a few days. The journey from Anchorage to Fairbanks in your Alaska winter car rentals is 360 miles, which is roughly 6 hours of driving.

However, you need to accommodate for adverse weather. If you plan on attending the Halfway Ceremonies in Nome, it may be wise to arrive a day or two early in case the weather takes a turn for a worse. The same rule applies for making it up to Anchorage. This has the added benefit of letting you rest between drives, and hopefully ensuring you a room.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to have Alaska winter car rentals for the Iron Dog race this February. Reserve your vehicle from Avis today!

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