Issues Arise During Alaska’s Renowned Iditarod Race Due to Heat

An additional challenge for competitors in this year’s Iditarod dogsled race in Alaska is the exceptionally high temperatures they must endure while racing. Leading one of the dog sled teams is Jason Mackey. He told The Associated Press that last week, a thermometer mounted on his sled recorded a temperature of 26.67 degrees Celsius. Most of the time, it’s really cold. One sport that is more suited to temperatures far below zero is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. During the 1,609-kilometer race across Alaska, Mackey and other competitors had to adjust their regular strategies to deal with the heat and unfavorable trail conditions.

According to Brian Brettschneider, it was not so warm in interior Alaska, despite it being warm along the race path. Brettschneider pointed out that because the thermometer on the sled had been exposed to the sun, it was unable to deliver an accurate reading. He continued, though, that the those who are experiencing it are still clearly feeling the effects of the warm, sunny weather. The same place was noticeably colder than usual not too long ago, which seemed to help with the racing conditions. According to Brettschneider, an area of high pressure is what has caused the warmer weather.

The largest state in the union saw several communities set new highs last week. There were no records set by the McGrath town along the Iditarod trail. However, on Wednesday, it reached a high of 2.22 degrees Celsius. There was a 2.78 degree low in the vicinity. Typically, it is around -18 degrees at this time of year. The Iditarod trail has been affected by the warmth in every direction. “Very few locations were below freezing,” stated Brettschneider. Mackey was not surprised by that. He remarked, “I wish the temperatures would drop.” Mackey continued, “The heat has caused other problems as well.” He noticed two mosquitoes on his sled at one point along the trail. Yes, spring is here, Mackey replied.

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