The Last Great Race

Think you have what it takes to mush in the Iditarod? Do you like reading lists? Here are the rules:

Each competitor should be equipped with no more than sixteen sled dogs, preferably Siberian huskies. Siberian huskies are unique dogs that can withstand the bitter cold, have four-wheel drive, eight-cylinder engines, and snow tires. Make sure to keep a flashlight handy. Huskies are photovoltaic.

A winner is declared when the first dog passes the finish line. The “finish line” is a compulsory vocabulary exam. Flashcards are distributed at checkpoints.

To finish, you must have official verification at each of the checkpoints in the form of a photo of you with your arm around the local high school’s team mascot. Consider stuffing your ears with wax, lest the hypnotic singing voices of these mascots lure you onto dangerous rocks.

Plan in Advance: The Iditarod route winds through barren and inhospitable tundra, and is basically just one big race to the next bathroom.

Shout “Mush! Mush!” when you want your Alaskan dogs to mush. Shout “Andale! Andale!” when you want your Mexican dog to fetch you a cold beverage.

To keep from freezing during the night, train yourself to do jumping jacks while you sleep.

It’s difficult to recharge cell phones while sledding through the Alaskan wilderness, unless your phone can recharge from crotch heat.

Not many people know that the real winner of the Iditarod is the person that comes in second.

Most people assume that they can find adequate water from the snow that blankets the ground. But they underestimate the degree to which that water is really, really cold.

Don’t Gloat: If you’re first to finish the Iditarod, please refrain from spiking your huskies.