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Discussion: Iditarod?!

in: Adventure Racing; General

Mar 11, 2019 4:18 PM # 
Tangent to all the eyes on Godzone:

Anyone else plugged into the Iditarod? I honestly haven't been this into dotwatching in...maybe all started with an amazing documentary on Netflix: The Great Alone. AWESOME doc on a very famous musher from the past decade. I plead with you all to go watch it ASAP while in you're in race mode watching Godzone.

My watching of it coincided with the start of the foot, bike, and ski race which is also awesome (Rebecca Rush competed this year in the "short" 350 mile division). But the dog-sledding is really, really interesting.

I met a musher a few years back. We talked a lot about mushing and AR, and the sports are unbelievably similar.

Anyway, one added note: you have to PAY to dot-watch (for the mushing, not the foot/bike/ski event). Interesting! The winners are probably two days out +/-, and I caved today and paid for access. It's a REALLY good tracking platform. I'd argue better than any AR tracking page I have ever seen, and I'm really not sure you'd convince me to listen to an argument. Granted it's missing SOME of the things you might look for in AR (pics of CPs for example), but you could easily add those, and what they do have is better than anything I have seen. It's 20$ for access. For anyone intrigued with online tracking from an RD perspective, it's worth paying for one year just to explore it.

I suspect I will be an annual fan and pay for the tracking, news access, etc. Awesome stuff!
Mar 11, 2019 4:43 PM # 
Is the same tracking platform used for the foot/bike/ski races? How have you been watching the mushing until now without paying? Do you know what type of tracker they are carrying?
Mar 11, 2019 4:48 PM # 
Not the same tracking at all.

I did pay the fee (20$).

And I'm not sure! I just took a quick peek and I didn't see. There is one icon that actually LOOKS familiar on the map, but I can't place it.
Mar 11, 2019 5:24 PM # 
You said you've been watching the races but you only paid the fee today. Hence my curiosity about what you've been watching until now!
Mar 11, 2019 5:44 PM # 

I've been following the standings closely, which are free and which have nice detail too. Also facebook (which is more community-generated based than an official FB page like we are used to in AR), local news, and just random google searching for info about the event in general as questions came up (how the enforced rest stops work for example, minimum number of dogs needed to finish, etc.).

I was watching the Iditarod Trail Invitational more closely before the mushing began and when most racers were finishing the 150 and 350 events. Also, as noted, R Rush was doing the 350 and another fellow ARer, Melody Hazi (new name since getting married) was in the 150.

And then, like I said, I saw the absurdly engaging dock on musher Lance Mackey. I was hooked!

As the Iditarod heads for its exciting finish, I have to admit: I will be checking in on that 2-3 x more than Godzone...I'm THAT into it:)...It might also be Chris Forne offense at all to Chris;)
Mar 11, 2019 6:01 PM # 
Bash. The Invitational racers are carrying Spots and using Trackleaders.
Mar 11, 2019 6:30 PM # 
Wow! Really?!

I see that is the same tracking platform used by Florida Sea 2 Sea. I was definitely NOT impressed with that set-up...

Interesting. I guess you can develop/pay for different levels of detail and features? The spots didn't work well at all in Florida. I'm surprised they seem so much better in Alaska!
Mar 11, 2019 7:08 PM # 
Thanks! I've watched Trackleaders for the Tour Divide and some other events outside AR. Their web page says that "custom programming of advanced tracking features is available" so I'm sure it could be adapted to suit AR. Latecomers like us can still watch some of the Iditarod Trail Invitational to get a feel for it.

Until recently, I wouldn't have considered SPOTs because they lacked 2-way communications but the new SPOT X has a very nice keyboard.
Mar 11, 2019 7:08 PM # 
Also, I've bookmarked the documentary. :)
Mar 12, 2019 1:30 AM # 
Awesome. I hope you enjoy it.

Bash, I'm going to go check if I have your email:)
Mar 12, 2019 1:44 AM # 
We have a friend who's been dot watching the Iditarod and has gotten so into it, she wants to start following AR. Crossover potential? :)
Mar 12, 2019 3:21 AM # 
Who'd have thunk it?! :)
Mar 12, 2019 2:11 PM # 
Longtime fan, first time poster here - And I too will speak to the rabbit hole quality and human drama of the Iditarod. 2nd the recommendation to watch The Great Alone, and I'd be lying if I didn't say that the bike version of it is calling to my gypsy soul.

All Broots fault....#ThatsWhatImTellingTheWife
Mar 12, 2019 3:15 PM # 
I first watched it when I was quite young - 50+ years ago and have always been fascinated by it.
Mar 12, 2019 5:00 PM # 
Some amazing racing at the pointy edge going on today (and last night).

I'd love to see Jessie Royer run down the lead two to become the third woman to win the race, but I suspect it will be one of these two.
Mar 14, 2019 12:32 AM # 
Broots, Most of the trackers at Sea to Sea were rentals and they were shit. They were supposed to have new batteries, but most died soon. I had fresh Lithiums in mine and tracked perfectly for 4 days.
Mar 14, 2019 12:44 AM # 
When we used to rent SPOTs in the early days of Wilderness Traverse, we replaced all the batteries as soon as we got them. The instructions specified fresh, high quality lithium batteries but that's not always what the rental company sent. I see the new SPOT X has a rechargeable battery like the InReach and YB trackers.
Mar 14, 2019 1:23 AM # 
Ah, makes sense. It's certainly interesting how completely different two races can look online even with the same platform! I REALLY have loved following the Iditarod:)

This discussion thread is closed.