Some people call it "The Last Great Race on Earth" others call it "The Best Place to See Cute Doggos." Okay, no one actually calls it the latter, but it's still very true.
The Iditarod is a dog sledding competition held annually in Anchorage, Alaska, and it seems like every year, the competitors just get more adorable. This year, one of the dog trainers has so graciously allowed the public to meet some of the dogs she is training to compete in this year's race. Although these dogs are obviously adorable and fluffy, there are also some of the greatest athletes and most serious competitors in their leagues.
With so many unique personalities, these sled dogs are for sure going to sweep you off your feet and impress you with their amazing athleticism. Get ready to meet the team.
Welcome to the race
via: Getty ImagesThe Iditarod Trail Race started in 1973 in Anchorage, Alaska and the tradition has only gotten stronger since then.
via: Getty ImagesThe dogs who compete in this race have been training since they were puppies to endure the intensity and extreme conditions they will experience in the race.
These are some fast pups
via: Getty ImagesThe race is a total of 938 miles, as the dog's race from Anchorage to Rome, Alaska. It takes a team of 16 dogs, plus their musher (the person on the sled) anywhere from 8-15 days to complete the race.
It's about to get chilly
Let's meet our competitors
Right now, we have 20 dogs in training for the Iditarod—and 14 pups will enter the actual race. Allow me to introdu… https://t.co/5gu4Ulub2Q— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546394683.0
Only the best from Blaire
11:30 pm It’s the end of another day of Iditarod training. Time to dream about trails and dog butts. https://t.co/u2GY3NyOsj— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1545346039.0
1. Pepé We have many dogs who can lead the team, but our true Lead Dog — the pup who makes each run happen, who ge… https://t.co/4D0Hw8Fwwz— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546395042.0
She can't be stopped
Pepe came to us from our good friends at @OtterRunKennel. Immediately after leading (and placing 5th) in the 440-mi… https://t.co/fSg58XJiDw— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546395235.0
2. Flame (age 5) Flame is my souldog. She is desperately codependent and we are both happiest when we are in phys… https://t.co/f6rM486HdL— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546395743.0
Fun fact: Flame is terrified of human babies but loves baby animals. She’s been an aunty to all our puppies and onc… https://t.co/ITER1bbIB6— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546395830.0
3. Jenga (age 8) Flame’s half-sister Jenga is a Boss Bitch and she doesn’t suffer fools. She was my first leader a… https://t.co/y3g0kwoeMK— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546396206.0
Heavy head, huge heart
Fun fact: Jenga carries the weight of the world in her chin and often rests her head on the dog next to her. https://t.co/WT95dqcWNP— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546396474.0
4. Grinch (age 6?) Grinch has a heart of gold and a brain like a box of rocks. He is extremely strong, maybe our s… https://t.co/BE0Bbj4mG6— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546396808.0
A borderline train wreck, turned into a heroPoor Grinch did not have the greatest potential predicted by doctors, but look at him now, rising above his trials.
Wait, Grinch gets better
Also, he only runs south. https://t.co/V1VSYGDRWL— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546397144.0
5. Colbert (age 5) Colbert is a big hunk of burning enthusiasm. At checkpoints, when it’s time to start running ag… https://t.co/bnHZ0HioqT— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546397603.0
The most fun facts
Also, Colbert is Catholic. The rest of our dogs are Jewish.— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546397821.0
6. Kenai (age 4) Kenai came to us from a good mushing friend because her pace is well-suited to long distances; sh… https://t.co/LTz9vhsqZX— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546398394.0
7. Boudica (age 4) Boudica is a lead dog with an obsession with gentle kisses. It’s very hard to be around her so… https://t.co/ANZ2rSz6wl— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546398941.0
The SDSI Index
Boudica has the highest SDSI on the Varsity Team. https://t.co/l4jpjhCZhG— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546399016.0
8. Helli (age almost 3) Helli, previously nicknamed Hellbitch, is our latest addition to the team. She is skinny a… https://t.co/yJ6NGWmBex— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546399617.0
9. Ebony (age 2) Ebony is a small and muscular pace-setting leader who loves every other dog except for her sister… https://t.co/g0TT20WFgg— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546399949.0
10. Lucy (age 2) Lucy is a delicate thoughtful creature who looks awkward in pretty much every photo. She has shor… https://t.co/7DEXlKqm5b— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546405373.0
The love story we were waiting for
Fun fact: Boo is in love with Lucy. You will meet Boo soon. https://t.co/X8QhuFa5R6— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546405517.0
11. Wickson (age 1) Wickson is the youngest dog on the Varsity Team. This is his first winter of training and he’s… https://t.co/MZwnG9iUVB— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546405948.0
All he needs is a lullaby!
We are happy to help him manage his hyperactivity with lullabies and cuddles. The soft attention seems to temporari… https://t.co/RljH1vurcj— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546406103.0
12. Spike (age 2) Spike, son of Pepe, is the largest pup from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer litter. He was born wit… https://t.co/j3uYXMYjUZ— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546406890.0
The most adorable advocate
Fun fact: Spike is a longtime advocate for transgender equality. https://t.co/x1LW0xzDtn— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546407337.0
ClemHere's Clem, the potato-like late bloomer who has already stolen my heart. Look at that face. It's impossible not to love him.
14. Anya (age 2) Anya is best friends with her brother Clem. She’s quite petite and is a picky eater. Anya can lea… https://t.co/4wIVKwdYJ4— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546408255.0
15. Xander (age 2) Xander is very social--his specialty is giving The Paw when he's very happy, which is often--bu… https://t.co/bvt9kFHfMZ— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546408672.0
Champions get tired too
Fun fact: Xander got tired during the Percy DeWolfe race so he hung out on my lap and learned to drive the sled. https://t.co/3GXQ50DdiB— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546408773.0
16. Willow (age 2) Willow's favorite food is ham. She used to be a picky eater but has developed a better appetite… https://t.co/ci1H8xq2dB— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546409199.0
17. Jeff Sharlet (age 2) We’ve reached the journalist pups. Jeff is a big-headed boy who likes to “talk” by moanin… https://t.co/azsTiw5hrL— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546409677.0
Wickson and Jeff Sharlet have an on-and-off friendship, depending on which one’s feeling more mature on a given day. https://t.co/4cMY9bzFlO— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546409888.0
18. Talese (age 2) Talese is the least neurotic of the journalist pups. He likes the good things in life, like mas… https://t.co/peMgQd9fP7— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546410404.0
19. Hunter (age 2) Hunter, named for Hunter S. Thompson, is Jenga's only daughter. She has no qualms about pushing… https://t.co/WHzrrAH1Pa— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546410602.0
20. Boo (age 2) The last dog on the varsity team is Boo, named for brilliant writer Katherine Boo. Boo is our tini… https://t.co/sEHxNIcjZI— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546411155.0
That's the team
And that’s everybody in training right now! I can’t wait to keep exploring with these friends. https://t.co/sWlUlwNa52— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546411490.0
It's all about love
@Kim_AussieGirl Nobody is getting rich from dogsledding, because it’s a tremendous amount of work and expenses (lit… https://t.co/n4n0dMjmyE— Blair Braverman (@Blair Braverman)1546452193.0