Joe Redington Sr. Is popularly well-known as the father of the Iditarod follow Sled Dog Race. The Iditarod is a long-distance sledge’s dog gyeongju which takes place in Alaska annually, starting in Anchorage and also finishing in Nome. The is the greatest sled dog gyeongju in the world – and the Iditarod as we know it today wouldn’t exist without the initiatives of Joe Redington Sr.

You are watching: Who is the father of the iditarod

In this article, we will examine Joe Redington’s life and how that led the production of the Iditarod follow Sled Dog Race.


Redington to be born top top February 17, 1917, in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He prospered up through his father due to the fact that his mother left him soon after his birth, and lived in Kingfisher till he was 6 years old.

He enlisted in the U.S. Military at the age of 23 in 1940 and joined the 6th Field artillery Regiment at ft Hoyle. The was later on stationed at fort Still in Oklahoma and also became one infantryman. He combated in civilization War II and was discharged after the war ended. The subsequently relocated to Pennsylvania.


Redington then relocated to Alaska to live by the level Horn Lake. The filed a house Act to case land along the Iditarod follow in Knik. It was around the same time as soon as he learned about the background of dog mushing and married his wife, Violet Redington, on February 18, 1953.

The follow was really overgrown. Redington and also his wife both aided clear the overgrown trail and made initiatives to make it a National historic Trail (efforts i m sorry would later be prize in 1978).

In 1966, Redington met Dorothy web page at the 1966 willow Winter Carnival. Page wanted to sponsor a sled dog gyeongju in the honor of the 100th anniversary the the acquisition of Alaska indigenous Russia, however couldn’t get the assistance of knowledgeable mushers. At the exact same time, Redington had actually started to take a keen interest in dog sledding, and also agreed to assist if a prize pool of $25,000 would certainly be split amongst the winners. Redington and also his wife offered one acre of your land in level Horn Lake to aid raise the money. The land was separated into one square foot lots and also sold with a unique certificate the ownership. This elevated $10,000 in the direction of the money that would certainly be split amongst the winners of the very first Iditarod sleds dog race.

At the time, it to be the biggest prize pool of any sled dog race, and mushers from anywhere Alaska – and even 2 from Massachusetts – completed in the very first Iditarod race. The 1967 Iditarod to be won by Isaac Oklaeasik indigenous Teller, Alaska. Back the an initial race was significantly shorter than today, stretching 27 mile in total, this is exactly how the Iditarod’s structures were established. The race didn’t happen next year because of lack that snow, but it was hosted in 1969.


\"*\"

Joe Redington’s key goal to be to broaden the race and also make it a bigger sports event. The beginning point was at first thought of as Knik and also the endpoint together Iditarod, however Nome was a an ext recognizable place, for this reason the complete line was changed to Nome. This meant the race had actually a complete distance that 1,000 miles. Redington promised a total prize swimming pool of $50,000, yet this lugged a lot of skepticism. It was crazy for numerous to send mushers right into the uninhabited Alaskan wilderness. Nevertheless, a complete of $51,325 was raised for the race.

Despite the skepticism, the prize swimming pool was overwhelmingly attractive and also a total of 35 mushers took component in the 1973 version of the race. The winner of the race, cock Wilmarth native Red Devil, Alaska, obtained $12,000, and the gyeongju was a succeeding success.

The Iditarod was seen as a recreational sport, however due come the death of numerous dogs in the race, the money increased for the prize swimming pool was collection back come $31,000 in 1974. Even with the lower prize pool, more mushers experienced the Iditarod as an opportunity, and the number of mushers who contended was higher. A complete of 44 mushers throughout Alaska and other states completed in the 1974 Iditarod. In 1975, stricter dog treatment requirements were implemented, and also with the aid of a corporate sponsor, the prize pool was raised earlier to $50,000.

The negative publicity ongoing after the 1975 race, but ever since the 1973 Iditarod, the race has been the best sporting event in Alaska and the many acknowledged sledge’s dog race in the world. Redington’s efforts to expand the race ultimately paid off and the Iditarod was designated as among the initial four National historic Trails in 1978. The an initial official mite was placed up external of Redington’s house in 1980. He came to be known as the father of the Iditarod for his efforts to organize and also promote the race.


Joe Redington Sr. Himself competed in seventeen Iditarods in between 1974 and also 1997. Also though he has never won, he got 5th place in the 1988 Iditarod at the age of 72.

He was the honorary musher of the 1997 Iditarod in ~ the period of 80. Redington passed away of cancer two years after ~ the 1997 gyeongju on June 24, 1999. The was buried in his favourite dog sleds basket in Wasilla, Alaska.

See more: If Your Boat Runs Aground At High Speed. What Should You Do First?

On February 1, 2003, a bronze statue the Joe Redington Sr. To be revealed near the Iditarod trace Committee Headquarters.

Redington’s legacy as the dad of the Iditarod stays on today, with winners the the yearly race receiving the Joe Redington Trophy. Redington has likewise been inducted into the Alaska sports Hall of Fame