ISSUE TOTAL SIZE
According to locals of the Iditarod Dog Sled Race held in Alaska, every participant who finishes is a winner. In fact, the final musher to cross the finish line is awarded the Red Lantern prize.
After driving hard 13 days through trecherous conditions that you and I could stand for only a few minutes, last-place-finisher Marcelle Fressineau...finished. To finish Iditarod, is to triumph.
Congratulations Marcelle. It's an honor to have you grace our Greetings From Alaska first day cover.
Alaska is home to, what is known as, “The Last Great Race on Earth” with the first race dating back to March 3, 1973. The Iditarod (eye-DIT-a-rod) Trail Sled Dog Race covers over 1,000 miles, (officially set at 1,049 miles to honor Alaska’s status as the 49th state) from Anchorage to Nome. The longest dog sled race in the world, it is a grueling event lasting 8-17 days. The first team to cross the finish line receives the purse, while the last musher receives the Red Lantern Award. During the days of Alaska sled dog freighting and mail carrying, drivers relied on roadhouses between villages for safety. Word would be relayed ahead that a musher and team were on the trail and a kerosene lamp was lit and hung outside the roadhouse signifying that a team was somewhere out on the trail and the lamp was not extinguished until the musher reached his destination. In keeping with that tradition, when the last musher crosses the finish line, officials will extinguish the lamp signifying the official end of the Iditarod for that year. Let it be remembered, Iditarod is not over until the last musher has reached Nome and is off the trail...everyone who finishes is a winner. The race pits man and animal against wild Alaska and is a tribute to Alaska’s history and the role the sled dog played...
GREETINGS FROM ALASKA
FIRST DAY OF ISSUE
OCTOBER 25, 2002
NEW YORK, NY 10199
Take a trip
Read the complete article in the Bevil newsletter, which accompanies the cover when collected.