Joe Redington Sr. Is popularly known as the dad of the Iditarod trace Sled Dog Race. The Iditarod is a long-distance sledge’s dog gyeongju which takes ar in Alaska annually, beginning in Anchorage and also finishing in Nome. The is the biggest sled dog race in the people – and the Iditarod together we understand it now wouldn’t exist there is no the efforts of Joe Redington Sr.

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In this article, us will research Joe Redington’s life and also how that led the creation of the Iditarod trail Sled Dog Race.


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

He enlisted in the U.S. Military at the age of 23 in 1940 and also joined the sixth Field pho Regiment at fort Hoyle. He was later on stationed at fort Still in Oklahoma and became one infantryman. He fought in civilization War II and was discharged after the war ended. That subsequently moved to Pennsylvania.


Redington then relocated to Alaska come live by the flat Horn Lake. He filed a house Act to insurance claim land follow me the Iditarod follow in Knik. It was about the very same time once he learned around the background of dog mushing and also married his wife, Violet Redington, on February 18, 1953.

The trail was really overgrown. Redington and also his wife both helped clear the overgrown trail and made initiatives to make it a National historic Trail (efforts which would later on be price in 1978).

In 1966, Redington met Dorothy page at the 1966 pasture Winter Carnival. Page wanted to sponsor a sled dog race in the respect of the 100th anniversary of the purchase of Alaska from Russia, but couldn’t obtain the assistance of proficient mushers. At the same time, Redington had actually started to take a keen attention in dog sledding, and also agreed to aid if a prize swimming pool of $25,000 would be split among the winners. Redington and also his wife marketed one acre of your land in flat Horn Lake to assist raise the money. The floor was split into one square foot lots and also sold v a one-of-a-kind certificate that ownership. This increased $10,000 towards the money that would certainly be split among the winners the the an initial Iditarod sled dog race.

At the time, it to be the greatest prize swimming pool of any sled dog race, and mushers from all over Alaska – and also even two from Massachusetts – competed in the an initial Iditarod race. The 1967 Iditarod was won by Isaac Oklaeasik native Teller, Alaska. Return the very first race to be significantly shorter than today, stretching 27 miles in total, this is exactly how the Iditarod’s foundations were established. The race didn’t take place next year as result of lack the snow, however it was hosted in 1969.


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Joe Redington’s key goal was to expand the race and make the a bigger sports event. The beginning point was at first thought of together Knik and also the endpoint together Iditarod, however Nome to be a much more recognizable place, for this reason the finish line was readjusted to Nome. This supposed the race had a complete distance of 1,000 miles. Redington promised a total prize swimming pool of $50,000, however this carried a many skepticism. It to be crazy for countless to send mushers right into the uninhabited Alaskan wilderness. Nevertheless, a complete of $51,325 was elevated for the race.

Despite the skepticism, the prize pool was overwhelmingly attractive and also a total of 35 mushers took part in the 1973 version of the race. The winner that the race, dick Wilmarth indigenous Red Devil, Alaska, got $12,000, and the race was a succeeding success.

The Iditarod was viewed as a to chat sport, but due come the death of numerous dogs in the race, the money elevated for the prize swimming pool was collection back come $31,000 in 1974. Also with the lower prize pool, more mushers experienced the Iditarod as an opportunity, and the number of mushers who competed was higher. A total of 44 mushers across Alaska and other states completed in the 1974 Iditarod. In 1975, stricter dog treatment requirements were implemented, and with the assist of a corporate sponsor, the prize pool was raised ago to $50,000.

The an adverse publicity continued after the 1975 race, but ever since the 1973 Iditarod, the race has been the greatest sporting occasion in Alaska and also the most acknowledged sledge’s dog gyeongju in the world. Redington’s efforts to increase the race lastly paid off and also the Iditarod to be designated as among the initial 4 National historical Trails in 1978. The first official mite was put up outside of Redington’s residence in 1980. He became known as the father of the Iditarod because that his efforts to organize and also promote the race.


Joe Redington Sr. Himself completed in seventeen Iditarods between 1974 and also 1997. Even though he has actually never won, that got fifth place in the 1988 Iditarod in ~ the period of 72.

He to be the honorary musher of the 1997 Iditarod in ~ the period of 80. Redington passed away of cancer 2 years after ~ the 1997 gyeongju on June 24, 1999. He was hidden in his favourite dog sleds basket in Wasilla, Alaska.

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

Redington’s legacy as the father of the Iditarod lives on today, with winners that the annual race receiving the Joe Redington Trophy. Redington has additionally been inducted right into the Alaska sporting activities Hall the Fame