What is This Race I Keep Talking About?

What is This Race I Keep Talking About? February 14, 2013
Credit: Birch Leaf Photography

As my family prepares for the start of the big race this weekend, I know some of you are wondering what exactly the Iron Dog is!  Every year, Dad takes this 2,000 mile trek on a snowmachine.  (Yes, I know you “flatlanders” call them “snowmobiles,” but we call them “machines” up here!)  This is a treacherous, exciting race — in many Iron Dogs, more racers drop out than finish.  The injuries, bad weather, machine break downs, and fatigue take a toll on everyone.

After worrying the entire time he’s gone, it’s always very exciting to pack up and go to Fairbanks for the finish! We pack our warmest clothes, pile into our vehicles, and hope to see dad cross the finish line first.  There are a lot of festivities going on around the finish line, so if you’re near Fairbanks at the end of the race you should definitely stop by!!  Alaska must have the best ice sculptors, because there are usually beautiful statues being created right in front of your eyes. People build a fire on the frozen water, which gives you an idea of how cold it is there. It’s frequently negative thirty degrees at the finish line!

Sometimes the engines of our vehicles freeze as we spend the night there, and we have to get up every few hours to turn them on. A couple of years ago, our vehicle just quit on the way home because it had gotten too cold.  So after Dad had raced 2000 miles on a snow machine, he was out there trying to fix the truck on the side of the road.

Anyway, it’s an exciting tradition, and I’ll try to add some photos from years past sometime today.

Dad, I’m proud of you every year, no matter where you finish in the pack… (In fact, he’s won it four times!)  Let add another win to that total!

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sue Lynn

    I have been following it for 4 years now and can’t wait to keep checking GPS on where they are!!! I think he is going to win!!!!

  • connie allen

    You and your family are such an inspiration to me and my family. There are a lot of mean spirited people out there and you handle them really well. Prayers for you all and Good Luck to you Dad…we’re rooting for him!!!

    • georgia

      I agree, Connie Allen!

  • John Kahler

    Good luck to the Palin racing team this year. I liked it when he rode Cats, but I still hope he brings home a win! God Speed to him.

  • Curt Wilson

    Good luck.

  • David

    Wow – 2000 miles on a Snowmobile in -30 degree weather.
    Any Man who completes that Race is a winner in my book. ha


  • mlynn

    I admire people who lives in such weather because i would never survive in cold weather. I hear amazing stories of Alaska and wonder how life would be like over there. Will be rooting for your dad’s team, pray for God’s protection over all the racers. Thank you for your posts, enjoy reading them. God bless you and God bless you family. Sarah 2016!

  • dee

    i just love this family and would love to meet them some day. i hope bristol u r back on lifetime. good luck todd , break a leg.


    Todd go big or go home.

  • Laurie

    I am so glad that Iron Dog provides us with the news, stats and GPS tracking for the racers, so we can follow along. Each year, the online site is more improved. This year, the GPS is fantastic, better than last year. As I write this comment, Scott and your Dad are side-by-side about 6 miles east of Elim Airport. Hoping for a win this year!!

  • Clara Myers

    I got to visit Alaska July 2012, loved it. I admire the Palin Family and their values.