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Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

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Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby anchskier on Wed Mar 10, 2010 2:05 pm

Please note that there are some very obvious errors on the Iditarod website, specifically on the "Learn About the Iditarod" page and "The Iditarod Trail" page. They keep trying to claim the race is either over 1150 miles (according to the "Learn About..." page or 1112 miles (according to the map) long. It is far less than that.

First, they try to include the cerimonial start as part of the "race". There is no timing and the performance on this section has absolutely no impact on the race.

Second, they include the miles that are driven in a truck from the cerimonial start in Anchorage to the official restart in Willow. If they are going to include this, why not just call it a 2000+ mile race and include the flight back home after getting to Nome?

Third, GPS information over the last couple of years has indicated that the actual distance ran is far less than the distance shown on the map from checkpoint to checkpoint. Althought this various somewhat each year depending on where the trail gets cut in, it is consistantly shorter than advertised. It would be surprising if the race was even 1000 miles long, but nobody at Iditarod will admit that since it would lose the claim to being the longest sleddog race.

Keep this in mind when teaching students about the race.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby Iditarod Staff on Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:55 pm

anchskier wrote:Please note that there are some very obvious errors on the Iditarod website, specifically on the "Learn About the Iditarod" page and "The Iditarod Trail" page. They keep trying to claim the race is either over 1150 miles (according to the "Learn About..." page or 1112 miles (according to the map) long. It is far less than that. .....

Keep this in mind when teaching students about the race.


Thanks for the reminder for our race fans, students, and teachers! Yes, it is true, the distance between checkpoints/length of the trail= estimated numbers. The current map that is on the website.... is not accurate.

This article at the For Teachers section of the website provides a chart that is more accurate:
http://iditarodblogs.com/teachers/2010/ ... heckpoint/
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby 1stimestar on Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:36 pm

It went from 1000 miles to 1049 to celebrate our statehood last year. Then from 1049 people rounded up to 1050. Since we have gps now, we all know it's not really 1000 miles, but do a few miles here and there make that much of a difference? Nope.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby anchskier on Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:52 pm

1stimestar wrote:It went from 1000 miles to 1049 to celebrate our statehood last year. Then from 1049 people rounded up to 1050. Since we have gps now, we all know it's not really 1000 miles, but do a few miles here and there make that much of a difference? Nope.


A few miles here or there isn't a big deal. When they are advertising it as 150 or so miles more than it actually is, then it is a big deal. By the way, it didn't just go from 1000 miles to 1049 last year. They have been claiming 1100+ for a long time. Their maps have been including the drive from Anchorage to Willow for as long as I can recall.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby wendyo on Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:16 pm

Makes me sick to read you bashing on the Iditarod. Not that big of a deal...it is a long race that is a huge accomplishment for all mushers to complete whether it is 1150 or 1049 or 1000. If you want to bash them, do it somewhere else and let us continue to enjoy the race, whatever the mileage.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby anchskier on Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:09 pm

wendyo wrote:Makes me sick to read you bashing on the Iditarod. Not that big of a deal...it is a long race that is a huge accomplishment for all mushers to complete whether it is 1150 or 1049 or 1000. If you want to bash them, do it somewhere else and let us continue to enjoy the race, whatever the mileage.


I am not bashing the Iditarod or the mushers at all, just the website that is full of bad information. They have known it was incorrect for years, yet they continue to keep the bad information posted on here. I posted this in the "Iditarod for Educators" section so people who are using the race for educational lessons can have some accurate information.

I love the Iditarod. Looking to be a great finish this year (dissapointed my favoriate is not looking to be in the running this year, but still having a solid race).

If knowing the truth and having accurate information is causing you to not enjoy the race, then I really can't help you.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby salgal80 on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:34 am

I don't see the big issue here.
I show my kids all the various distances listed on the Iditarod site. They notice the differences and I turn it into a teachable moment. Why are the distances different? How has the start of the race changed over the years? Can it be possible to know the exact distance? How? Questions like that. If your students are old enough to have a good conversation like that, I suggest you try it.
I think you might find the actual distance isn't as important to them as you might think. My students conclude that the race is LONG and they respect the geography and weather obstacles. I also compare the race to the Yukon Quest--which is also long, covers more mountain ranges, and is generally colder. On the other end, mushers can have help during that race and there are far fewer participants. In the long run, they respect both races, but the Iditarod will always be the ultimate, the Last Great Race.
Not knowing the exact distance of the race doesn't change that for kids.
I hope this suggestion helps you in your quest to teach the Iditarod in a fair way to your students.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby feas on Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:43 pm

anchskier wrote:Third, GPS information over the last couple of years has indicated that the actual distance ran is far less than the distance shown on the map from checkpoint to checkpoint. Althought this various somewhat each year depending on where the trail gets cut in, it is consistantly shorter than advertised. It would be surprising if the race was even 1000 miles long, but nobody at Iditarod will admit that since it would lose the claim to being the longest sleddog race.

Keep this in mind when teaching students about the race.


You know they go up and down mountains. This will add miles but not be reflected horizontally.

I sure hope you are not a teacher.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby Iditarod Staff on Sat Mar 13, 2010 6:13 pm

The switch backs make a difference.
Miles between checkpoints prior to GPS Tracker have been estimation.
A more accurate distance is found at the For Teachers section of the website at this link:
http://iditarodblogs.com/teachers/files ... leages.pdf
That chart is what is used by our data team when mph/etc is figured on the current standings.
The page on the website is a page that we've asked the web company to fix but it hasn't been replaced as of yet.
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Re: Iditarod Race Website Glaring Errors

Postby NE teach on Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:35 pm

Diane,
Thanks for the link. That is a great chart that I will use to do our Pi Iditarod Activity this week. March 14th is National Pi Day!
:P
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