Iron Dog or Iron Dog Race is an off-road snowmobile race across Alaska, USA. It normally starts on a Sunday in mid-February.At 2,031 miles (3,269 km), it is the longest high speed cross-country snowmachine race in the world.
The first Iron Dog event started in 1984, in Big Lake following the Northern Route of the Historic Iditarod Trail to Nome. The event began as the “Iron Dog Iditarod”, but the name was quickly changed the next year to the “Gold Rush Classic”, in 1990 the race was recognized as the “Iron Dog Gold Rush Classic” for a decade until Tesoro Corporation became a title sponsor, thus recognizing the event as the “Tesoro Iron Dog”. Today, we simply refer to the race and ourselves as The Iron Dog.
Today’s Iron Dog course distance is over 2,000 miles, starting in Big Lake with a halfway stop in Nome and finishing in Fairbanks, making it the World’s longest snowmobile race. Participants cover some of Alaska’s the most remote and rugged terrain while confronting some the harshest winter conditions. Survival skills are essential, making it the World’s toughest snowmobile race. All teams in race classes are a team of two persons and two snowmobiles for safety.
Race Event Start includes fundraising activities, vendor booths and a patriotic celebration start. Nome marks the half way point for the racers and a finish for the trail class. The Nome Halfway Banquet brings the race participants and fans together with celebration awards, tales from the trail, slide show presentations, and prizes.
2017 Race Dates
- February 18, 2017 – Start of the Pro Class (Anchorage)*
- February 19, 2017 – Pro Class Restart (Big Lake)*
- February 22, 2017 – Halfway Ceremonies in Nome
- February 25, 2017 – Finish of the Pro Class in Fairbanks
First Iron Dog team to first checkpoint will earn $5,000
Expect the 70 drivers competing in the world’s longest and toughest snowmachine race to punch their throttles from the start when the Iron Dog revs up later this month.
The $250,000 purse of the Iron Dog snowmachine race got a cash boost Thursday when Alaska Directional donated a $5,000 prize to the first team into the first checkpoint of Skwentna.
The $250,000 purse includes $145,000 in cash to the top five finishers — including $65,000 to the winning team, $35,000 for second, $20,000 for third.
Thirty-five teams of two drivers have entered, including defending champions Tyson Johnson of Eagle River and Tyler Aklestad of Palmer.