Schroeder, dogs ready for Iditarod

WARBA, Minn. — Nathan Schroeder of Warba will again be running the Iditarod world class dogsled race starting this weekend after nearly 20 years of putting his team of dogs together.

“I’ve spent two decades building this dogsled team. My youth and my days off of work time have been dedicated to training my team of huskies — we’ve worked hard and won the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, a 390-mile race in northern Minnesota.’’

The ceremonial start will take place in Anchorage on Saturday and the official race starts on Sunday.

“I was honored to earn Rookie of the Year at Iditarod 2014 and successfully compete and finish Iditarod 2015. I feel that my team is ready for the big race, the world’s most challenging race, Alaska’s Iditarod 2016,” said Schroeder.

The Iditarod sled dog race is:

• A grueling 1,049-mile race starting in Anchorage, Alaska, ending in Nome, Alaska. The average time to run the race is two weeks.

• There are no road systems to Nome, all supplies must be shipped by plane into these remote areas at about 80 cents per pound for roughly 3,000 pounds of gear and supplies that must be shipped.

• The Iditarod entry fee is $3,000, gas round trip from Minnesota to Anchorage and back is about $5,000. That includes a truck, trailer, some supplies, and hauling 24 dogs, which is heavy on the mileage.

• Supplies must be shipped in advance from Minnesota to Seattle, and then barged to Anchorage. The 3,000 pounds again is shipped here for 80 cents per pound.

• Once in Nome all supplies not used must be flown back.

• The sled dogs consume up to 12,000 calories per day per dog. There are 16 dogs per team. Bags of good kibble and raw chicken, beef, and fish are expensive. That totals up to over three tons of raw meats to keep the dogs happy and healthy before the race and during the race.

• Alaska winters are extremely tough with temps as cold as -60 degrees. The mushers each need arctic rated clothing, a sleeping bag, boots, long underwear, wool socks etc., which costs about $1,500. Proper gear is a must.

• Additional expenses: Two new sleds at $2,500 each, 2,500 dog booties at about $1 per bootie, 16 dogs all need three sets of dog jackets during the race at about $25 a piece, and 16 dog harnesses are needed at $25 per harness.

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For more information and race updates go to:

Facebook: Nathan Schroeder Mushing

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