The First Iditarod

“Musher after musher agrees that no one – racers or officials – knew what to expect.” ~Bill Sherwonit in Iditarod: The Great Race to Nome (Alaska Northwest Books, 1991)

First Iditarod 2nd Ed

On that cold morning in March, 1973, thirty-six mushers stood at the starting line in Anchorage, Alaska, looking over the backs of their teams and down the trail toward Nome, over 1,000 miles away. They were on their way to making history.

In this book several mushers who ran the first race, including Bill Arpino, Ken Chase, Howard Farley, Dave Olson, Rod Perry, Ford Reeves, Mike Schreiber, and Alex Tatum, share their memories of what it was like to be one of the original pioneers setting out on what has since become known as “The Last Great Race on Earth,” captured through recorded and videotaped interviews conducted over a span of several years. The true, first-hand stories of what happened on that inaugural 1,049 mile race have since become legends.

“And they still don’t know what happened, because no one’s ever asked us.” ~Ford Reeves, who teamed up with Mike Schreiber to run the 1973 Iditarod

The First Iditarod, The 1973 Race from Anchorage to Nome

"The First Iditarod, The 1973 Race from Anchorage to Nome," by Helen Hegener, published by Northern Light Media in 2019. 200 pages. 6″ x 9″ format, b/w illustrations, bibliography, resources, indexed. $24.00 plus $5.00 for First Class shipping.