The Iron Dogs

Iron Dog racers coming into Nome during the race in 2014. Photo: KNOM file.

It’s the world’s longest race of snowmachines – Alaskan parlance for snowmobiles – and last month, it passed through our region.

The Iron Dog Snowmachine Race is an annual focal point for our listeners. The 1,000-mile-plus competition traverses some of Alaska’s most isolated terrain, with a course stretching from Anchorage to Nome to Fairbanks. Racers finish the route in less than a week, driving their “sleds” past the finish line typically the second or third weekend in February.

Iron Dog 2012: Ben interviews Tre

In 2012, KNOM news reporter Ben Matheson interviews Nome’s Tre West, moments after the Iron Dog veteran arrived back in his hometown.

The race (pictured from 2012) falls in the midst of Alaska’s annual “race season,” the wintertime period of sled dog and snowmachine competitions that are a part of what makes our state so unique. These races tie into the culture, both traditional and contemporary, of rural Alaska, and they’re a celebration of our region: both because they tend to feature local competitors and because their routes wind through many of the small communities we serve.

Thanks to you, we’re proud to report on the fast-paced Iron Dog every year – as well as the long-distance Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Don’t miss our Iditarod coverage this month, right here on!