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Race Rules

Iditarod Race Rules
The Iditarod Trail International Sled Dog Race shall be an open class race for all dog Mushers meeting the entry qualifications as set forth by the Board of Directors of the Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc. Recognising the varying degrees of experience, monetary support and residence locations of a Musher, the Trail Committee shall encourage and maintain the philosophy that the race be constructed to permit all qualified Mushers who wish to enter and complete the race to do so. The object of the race is to determine which Musher and dogs can cover the race in the shortest time under their own power and without aid of others. That is determined by the nose of the first dog to cross the finish line. To that end, the Iditarod Trail Committee has established the following rules and policies to govern the race.

1. Checkpoints: A Musher must personally sign in at each checkpoint before continuing, except at the Wasilla restart.

2. Mandatory Stops: A Musher must personally sign in and out to start and complete all mandatory stops.

Twenty Four Hour Stop: A Musher must take one mandatory twenty-four (24) hour stop during the race. The twenty-four (24) hour stop may be taken at the Mushers option at a time most beneficial to the dogs. The checker must be notified by the Musher that he/she is taking his/her twenty-four (24) hour stop. Time begins upon notification. The starting differential will be adjusted during each team's twenty-four (24) hour stop. It is the Mushers responsibility to remain for the entire twenty-four (24) hour period plus starting differential. The ITC will give each Musher the required time information prior to leaving the starting line.

Eight Hour Mandatory Stops: In addition to the mandatory twenty-four (24) hour stop, a Musher must take one eight (8) hour stop on the Yukon and one eight (8) hour stop at White Mountain.

None of the three (3) mandatory stops may be combined.

3.  Bib: A Musher is required to carry his/her official ITC bib from White Mountain checkpoint to Safety checkpoint. The Musher must wear the bib in a visible fashion from Safety Checkpoint to Nome. The winner shall continue to wear the bib through the lead dog ceremony. All promotional material, except the bib, must be returned to the ITC at the finish line, or in the case of Mushers who scratch, to the checker accepting the Mushers scratch form.

4.  Sled: A Musher has a choice of sled subject to the requirement that some type of sled or toboggan must be drawn. The sled or toboggan must be capable of hauling any injured or fatigued dogs under cover, plus equipment and food. Breaking devices must be constructed to fit between the runners and not to extend beyond the tails of the runners. No more than two (2) sleds can be shipped beyond Wasilla. These sleds may be used at the Mushers discretion. No other sled changes are permitted except that a sled damaged beyond repair may be replaced if approved by an official. Once a sled has been left behind, it cannot be transported along the trail. It cannot be used again unless approved by the race marshal as a replacement for a broken sled.

5.  Mandatory Items:

A Musher must have with him/her at all times the following items:

           1.  Proper cold weather sleeping bag weighing a minimum of 5 lbs.
           2.  Axe, head to weigh a minimum of 1-3/4 lbs., handle to be at least 22" long.
           3.  One pair of snow shoes with bindings, each shoe to be at least 252 square inches in size.
           4.  Any promotional material provided by the ITC.
           5.  Eight booties for each dog in the sled or in use.
           6.  One operational cooker and pot capable of boiling at least three (3) gallons of water.
           7.  Veterinarian notebook, to be presented to the veterinarian at each checkpoint.
       Gear may be checked at all checkpoints except Eagle River, Wasilla, Knik and Safety.

       Mushers' diaries will be checked only by the veterinarian.

6.  Dog Maximums and Minimum's: The maximum number of dogs a Musher may start the race with is sixteen (16) dogs. A Musher must have at least twelve (12) dogs on the line to start the race. At least five (5) dogs must be on the tow line at the finish line. No dogs may be added to a team after the start of the race. All dogs must be either on the tow line or hauled in the sled and cannot be led behind the sled or allowed to run loose.

7.  Unmanageable Teams: A Musher may seek the aid of others to control an unmanageable team.

8.  Driverless Team: A team and driver must complete the entire race trail including checking in at all required locations. A driverless team or loose dog may be stopped and secured by anyone. The driver may recover his/her team either on foot, with assistance from another Musher or mechanised vehicle and continue the race. If a dog team is picked up during an emergency, it is the race marshal's discretion as to whether or not that team must be returned to that point if it is to continue the race. Motorised assistance must be reported to an official at the next checkpoint. If mechanised help is used, the team or dog must be returned to the point where it was lost before the team or dog may continue.

9.  Scratched Mushers: A Musher scratching from the race is responsible for the transportation of his/her dogs and gear off the trail.

10.  Hauling Dogs: A Musher may haul dogs in the sled at his/her discretion, however, the Musher may not allow any of the dogs to be hauled by another team. Dogs must be hauled in a humane fashion and must be covered if conditions require.

11.  Teams Tied Together: Two or more teams may not be tied together except in an emergency. Any team so involved must notify officials at the next checkpoint.

12.  Pacing: Pacing is not allowed.

13.  Motorised Vehicles: A Musher may not be accompanied by or accept assistance from any motorised vehicle that gives help to the Musher, including aircraft and snow machines, except when recovering a loose dog or driverless team.

14.  Dog Care: A Musher will be penalised if proper care is not maintained. Dogs must be maintained in good condition. All water and food must be ingested voluntarily.

15.  Shelter for Dogs: Dogs may not be brought into shelters except for race veterinarians medical examination or treatment. Dogs must be returned outside as soon as such examination or treatment is completed unless the dog is dropped from the race.

16.  Cruel and Inhumane Treatment: There will be no cruel or inhumane treatment of dogs. Cruel or inhumane treatment involves any action or inaction which causes preventable pain or suffering to a dog.

17.  Injured, Fatigued or Sick Dogs: All injured, fatigued or sick dogs that are dropped from the race must be left at a designated dog drop with a completed  and signed dropped dog form. Any dropped dog must be left with four (4) pounds of dog food and a reliable chain or cable (16" to 18" in length) with swivel snap and collar.

18.  Expired Dogs: Any dog that expires on the trail must be taken by the Musher to a checkpoint. The Musher may transport the dog to either the checkpoint just passed, or the upcoming checkpoint. An expired dog report must be completed by the Musher and presented to a race official along with the dog.  The chief veterinarian will cause a necropsy to be carried out by a Board Certified Pathologist at the earliest opportunity and shall make every attempt to determine the cause of death. The race marshal or his/her appointed judges, will determine whether the Musher should continue or be disqualified.

19.  Harness and Cables: Dog must leave checkpoints with functional, non-chafing harnesses. A Musher must carry cable tie-out lines or have cable in the towline capable of securing the team. Equipment deemed unsafe by race officials is prohibited.

20.  Drug Use: No injectable, oral or topical drug which may suppress the signs of illness or injury may be used on a dog. A Musher may not inject any substance into their dogs. No other drugs or other artificial means may be used to drive a dog or cause a dog to perform or attempt to perform beyond its natural ability.

The following drugs are prohibited:

           A. Anabolic Steroids
           B. Analgesics (prescriptive and not-prescriptive)
           C. Anaesthetics
           D. Antihistamines
           E. Anti-inflammatory drugs including but not limited to:
                  1.Cortico-steroids (only those provided for ITC for use on feet)
           F. Bronchodilators
           G. Central Nervous System Stimulants
           H. Cough Suppressants
           I. Diuretics
           J. Injectable Anticolinergics
           K. Muscle Relaxants
           L. Tranquillisers & Opiates

Dogs are subject to the collection of urine or blood samples, at the discretion of the testing veterinarian, at any point from the pre-race examination until six (6) hours after the team's finish in Nome. The Musher or a designee will remain with the dogs. All results will be sealed and signed for before the tests are considered complete.

A Musher must assist the veterinarian in collecting samples whenever requested. If blood or urine testing of a dog reveals any of the prohibitive drugs in the dog, this rule has been violated regardless of when such drugs were administered to the dog.

The use of megesterol acetate (Ovaban) and mibolerone (Cheque drops) as an estrus suppressant is permitted only in intact females that have not had an ovario hysterectomy.

The practice of blood doping, i.e., injection of whole blood, packed blood cells or blood substitutes is prohibited.

Race veterinarians may utilise any of the listed drugs or other prohibited drugs necessary to maintain a dog's health, however, such dogs will be withdrawn from the race. The use of local or general anaesthetics will not be allowed in any form unless the dog is withdrawn from the race.

Personal prescriptions written for and carried by the Mushers may not be used on the dogs.

Musher Conduct

21.  Good Samaritan Rule:
A Musher will not be penalised for aiding another Musher in an emergency. Incidents must be explained to race officials at the next checkpoint.

22.  Interference: A Musher may not tamper with another Mushers dogs, food or gear or interfere in any manner with the progress of another team.

23.  Food and Gear at Checkpoint: A Mushers personal gear, equipment and supplies may not be transported along the trail by mechanised means without the consent of the race marshal.

24.  Passing: When one team approaches within fifty (50) feet of another team, the team behind shall have the immediate right of way upon demand. The Musher ahead must stop the dogs and hold them to the best of his/her ability for a maximum of one minute or until the other team has passed, whichever occurs first. The passed team must remain behind at least fifteen (15) minutes before demanding the trail.

25.  Sportsmanship: Any Musher must use civil conduct and act in a sportsmanlike manner throughout the race. Abusive treatment of anyone is prohibited.

26.  Parking: A Musher must select a campsite at least ten (10) feet off the race trail so that the dogs cannot interfere with other teams, i.e., no snacking of dogs in the trail. A Musher needing to stop momentarily must not interfere with the progress of another team. Teams must be parked at designated localised holding areas in checkpoints in places which do not interfere with the movements of other teams and Mushers. No parking or camping is permitted within one (1) mile of checkpoints or villages.

27.  Accommodations: Mushers may only use accommodations at officially authorised locations.

28.  Litter: No litter of any kind may be left on the trail, in camps, or in checkpoints. All material remaining in checkpoints must be left in designated areas.  In localised holding area and on the trail, excessive left over dog food is considered litter. For purposes of these rules, straw is not considered litter.

29.  Use of Drugs and Alcohol: Use of illegal drugs as defined by state law or excessive use of alcohol by Mushers during the race is prohibited. Iditarod has the right to conduct random drug testing. A Musher is subject to collection of urine samples at any point from the start until one (1) hour after each team's finish in Nome.

30.  Demand for Food and Shelter: A Musher may not make demands for food and shelter along the trail.

31.  Outside Assistance: A Musher may not receive outside assistance between checkpoints. All care and feeding of dogs will be done only by that team's Musher. No planned help is allowed throughout the race, including checkpoints. All dog maintenance and care of dog teams and gear in checkpoints will be done in the designated localised holding area only. A Musher relinquishing the care of his team to leave checkpoint and or village must withdraw from the race.

32.  Lost Food: A Musher may replace lost or unusable dog food shipments at checkpoints through whatever methods are available.

33.  No Man's Land: No man's land is the trail between Ft. Davis Roadhouse and the official finish line in Nome. A Musher need not relinquish the trail on demand in this area.

34.  One Musher per Team: Only one Musher will be permitted per team and that Musher must complete the entire race.

35.  Killing of Game Animals: In the event that an edible big game animal, i.e., moose, caribou, buffalo, is killed in defence of life or property, the Musher must gut the animal and report the incident to a race official at the next checkpoint. Following teams must help gut the animal when possible. No teams may pass until the animal has been gutted and the Musher killing the animal has proceeded. Any other animal killed in defence of life or property must be  reported to a race official, but need not be gutted.

36.  ELT or Satellite Tracking Device: While a Musher may carry an emergency tracking device, such as an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) or other similar satellite tracking device, activation will make a Musher ineligible to continue and will result in withdrawal from the race.

The Intent of these rules is to insure fair competition and the humane care of sled dogs. The race should be won or lost on merit rather than technicalities. Race officials appointed by the ITC are responsible for interpreting the rules in keeping with that Intent.


P1.   Entries:
Entries will be accepted from June 28, 1997 until December 1, 1997 by the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC), P.O. Box 870800, Wasilla, Alaska 99687-0800. Kennels entering must indicate the Mushers name with their entry. Entries may be presented to the ITC in person by the Musher, by proxy or by mail. Entries received in any fashion on June 28, 1997, will draw in the first group. All other entries will draw in the second group.

Mushers who enter in person will sign a log indicating the date and time that they arrived at ITC Headquarters which shall be utilised in determining the order of sign up. A Musher will maintain his or her place in the sign up order so long as he or she does not leave ITC property. A Musher who has someone log in and remain on the property for him or her, yet arrives for the actual sign up himself or herself, shall be considered to have entered by proxy and not in
person. Mushers entering in person shall be followed by mail recording.

Mailed entries will be recorded by postmark. Entries received with the same postmark will be recorded alphabetically for southern route races and in reverse alphabetical order for northern route races.

Entrants by proxy (hand carried but not by the Musher) will be recorded in order of appearance after all Mushers appearing in person and mail entrants are recorded.

An entry will not be considered valid until the entry fee is paid in full.

The ITC reserves the right to reject entries not in conformance with these policies and rules or from Mushers who do not exemplify the spirit and principle of the Iditarod Trail Committee as set forth in the rules, policy, bylaws and mission statement. The decision to reject any entry will be made by the executive committee. A Musher may appeal such a decision to the full Board of Directors within fourteen (14) days. The decision of the full board will be final and

P2.   Entry Fee: The entry fee is $1,750.00 US, which includes membership, payable on or after June 28, 1997. This entry fee must be received by the ITC or postmarked by midnight, December 1, 1997 Payment of the $1,750.00 US constitutes the Mushers intention to enter the race and acknowledges that the Musher agrees to comply with these policies and rules.

Upon written request, Mushers withdrawing from the race prior to February 19, 1998, may recover $1,500.00 refund from the entry fee. After February 19, 1998, no part of the entry fee will be refunded.

Entry fees received which are not in compliance with this policy shall be refunded and the Musher shall not be allowed to participate.

P3.   Substitutes: There will be no substitute drivers unless approved by the race marshal in case of medical emergency.

P4.   Musher Qualifications: Mushers must be 18 years of age as of the starting date of the race. For the '98 race, since July 1, 1995, a rookie Musher (one who has not completed a previous Iditarod) must have completed two approved qualifying races with an accumulated total of at least 500 miles or must have completed one race of at least 800 miles within the last five racing seasons and a 300 mile race in either the current or previous racing season. Written proof of completing this requirement must be submitted to the ITC prior to February 19. Rookie Mushers will be notified of acceptance or rejection under this rule within (30) days of application. Rookies completing their qualifying race or races after entering must notify the ITC prior to February 19, 1998 to confirm their entry. Rookie Mushers must attend the entire rookie Musher meeting to be held at 9:00 A.M., Tuesday, March 3, 1998.

P5.   Purse: The Board and staff shall commit an honest effort to ensure that the $425,000 purse is paid. It shall be paid out as follows:

1st Place $51,000 11th Place 16,531
2nd Place 47,872 12th Place 13,988
3rd Place 38,896 13th Place 12,080
4th Place 33,660 14th Place 10,809
5th place 29,172 15th Place 10,173
6th Place 26,666 16th Place 9,874
7th Place 24,927 17th Place 9,425
8th Place 23,188 18th Place 8,976
9th Place 21,449 19th Place 8,527
10th Place 19,710 20th Place 8,078
In addition, the net of the moneys generated through the Idita-Rider program shall be distributed evenly to Mushers finishing from 21st place through the Red Lantern Winner, up to $1,049 each.

In the event that it is determined by the ITC that it can prudently pay out prize money in excess of $425,000, it may elect to do so. In the event that it does elect to do so, the amount allocated to each of the top twenty places will be determined as follows:

1.   Of the total actual purse payment, 12% or $50,000, whichever is greater, shall be allocated to 1st place. Of the remainder of the actual purse payment, 40% shall be allocated to 2nd through 5th places, 31% shall be allocated to 6th through 10th places, 17% shall be allocated to 11th through 15th places and 12% shall be allocated to 16th through 20th places.

2.   Of the total dollars allocated to 2nd through 5th places, 32% shall be allocated to 2nd place, 26% to 3rd, 22 1/2% to 4th and 19 1/2% to 5th.

3.   Of the total dollars allocated to 6th through 10th places, 23% shall be allocated to 6th place, 21 1/2% to 7th, 20% to 8th, 18 1/2% to 9th and 17% to 10th.

4.   Of the total dollars allocated to 11th through 15th places, 26% shall be allocated to 11th place, 22% to 12th, 19% to 13th and 17% to 14th and 16% to 15th.

5.   Of the total dollars allocated to 15th through 20th places, 22% shall be allocated to 16th place, 21% to 17th, 20% to 18th and 19% to 19th and 18% to 20th.

P6.   Required Paperwork: A Musher must submit the race application, participant's release, dog care agreement, Nome housing form, and local contact form prior to February 1, 1998. Non-compliance will result in a fine of $100. The fine and paperwork must be submitted by February 19 or food will not be shipped.

P7.   Shipping of Food and Gear: A Musher must comply with shipping directions provided by the ITC. Each container must be clearly marked with name and destination and must weigh no more than 70 pounds. No boxes of any kind may be used as the primary container. No straw, charcoal, fuel or other combustible material may be shipped through the ITC food drops. No cookers, plastic buckets, coolers or dog dishes may be shipped except with any sled
that is shipped. Used items must be removed from checkpoints with dropped sleds only.

The Musher is advised that food delivered to ITC should be frozen hard. ITC will make every reasonable effort to keep it frozen until picked up by the Musher.

All mandatory food must be sent through Iditarod food drops. Additional food and gear not described above may be shipped prior to the start but must be shipped through the checker. Gear damaged beyond repair may be replaced if approved by officials.

Shipping of food and gear must be paid for before the Mushers meeting.

Iditarod will ship straw for the teams. Straw can be delivered by the Mushers through the mail to supplement the Iditarod program at checkpoints where mail is delivered.

P8.   A minimum of five (5) pounds of dog food per dog for each checkpoint designated Class A, four (4) pounds to Class B and two (2) pounds to those checkpoints designated Class C must be shipped through the ITC by 8:00 A.M. on February 15, 1996. Those checkpoints designated Class D may also receive food through the food shipment at the Mushers' option. No food or supplies of any kind may be shipped to any checkpoint except those listed as
Class A, Class B, Class C or Class D, unless approved by officials.
(5 LBS.)
(4 LBS.)
(2 LBS.)
Cripple Skwentna Nikolai Safety
Ruby Rainy Pass McGrath  
Ganena Rohn  
Unalakleet Takotna  
Shaktoolik Ophir  
Koyuk Kaltag  
White Mountain  
P9.   A Musher must have the team examined at the official pre-race veterinary examination or must deliver proof of examination by an ITC approved veterinarian to the chief veterinarian at or before the time of the official examination. Veterinary paperwork, including pre-race health certificates, proof of vaccination, microchip & ECG form, verification of de-worming and signed form from veterinarian doing exam, must be delivered to the pre-race veterinary
check. Non compliance will result in a fine of $100. All examinations must be done on or after February 21, 1998.

A Musher may check in 20 dogs. The Musher has until race start day to select 16 of 20 dogs registered under his/her team. The Musher must select from those same 16 dogs on Sunday.

All dogs entered in the race must have current distemper, parvo, corona and rabies vaccines. Proof of these vaccinations, except for rabies, must come from a veterinarian or a certified lay vaccinator or if administered by the Musher, records must include type of vaccine, proof or purchase (i.e., receipt), and date of vaccination in writing. The distemper/parvo/corona vaccine must have been given between April 1, 1997, and February 21, 1998.

Proof of rabies vaccine must come from a licensed veterinarian or certified lay vaccinator. Rabies vaccines must be given no later than February 21, 1998 and must be current through April 1, 1998 according to Alaska state regulations.

All teams must be de-wormed for Echinoccocus Multilocularis with a medication approved by the ITC on or after February 25, 1998.

Mushers will be notified of time and location of pre-race ECG and veterinary check by January 1, 1998. The chief veterinarian will have the authority to remove any dog from competition if, after consultation with a veterinary cardiologist (when available), it is the professional opinion of the chief veterinarian that the dog has an abnormality which may predispose it to a significant risk of injury or death.

For those Mushers who have volunteered, ITC will be allowed to draw blood and use non-invasive methods to gather data from dropped dogs and dogs that have completed the race, in the effort to gather information to improve dog care.

P10.   Jurisdiction and Care: Dogs are under the jurisdiction and care of the chief veterinarian and the veterinary staff from the time they enter the staging area at the start until 72 hours after the team finishes in Nome or scratches, is withdrawn, is disqualified or is released by the veterinary staff.

P11.   Expired Dog: No dog death is acceptable, but there are some that may be considered unpreventable.

The expired dog must be in the sled bag and covered when the Musher arrives at a checkpoint. The Musher is to inform a race judge of the expired dog as soon as he/she has checked in.

An expired dog report must be filled out by the Musher as soon as he/she reaches the checkpoint.

The Musher and or his/her representative has the option to be present during the trail evaluation and necropsy.

A Musher will remain at the initial reporting checkpoint for up to, but no longer than, eight hours to commence the investigation. This period is not to be used as a penalty. A Musher will also make him/herself available at all future checkpoints to assist in the investigation. The race marshal or his/her appointed judges may release a Musher before the eight hours have expired if the judge is satisfied that the Musher is no longer needed to further the investigation.

Dog deaths resulting in disqualification are:

Signs of cruel, inhumane or abusive treatment

Cause of death is heat stress, hypothermia.

A Musher will be disqualified if he/she had been advised in writing by a race veterinarian or judge to drop the dog at a previous checkpoint, but opted not to do so, unless the cause of death is clearly unrelated to this written recommendation.

The Musher will not be penalised and may continue the race if:

Cause of death can not be determined

The cause of death is due to a circumstance, nature of trail, or force beyond the control of the Musher. This recognises the inherent risks of wilderness travel.

Cause of death is from some unpreventable or previously undiagnosed medical condition.

All dog deaths will be treated as a priority, with every effort being made to determine the cause of death in a thorough and reliable manner.

It is the policy of the ITC to report a dog death to the public in a timely fashion. The ITC will accomplish this by:

The race marshal shall immediately issue a press release to members of the media identifying the dog's death

Immediately following the final decision, the race marshal will notify the Musher of the decision and will issue a press release containing the findings and the circumstances of the death .

P12.   Dog Description: Only northern dog breeds suitable for arctic travel will be permitted to enter the race. "Northern breeds" will be determined by race officials.

P13.   Dog Tags: All dogs leaving the starting line will be electronically marked and tagged. Electronic markers will be installed by ITC personnel unless other arrangements are approved by ITC. Only current tags are permitted. Dogs must be listed by name and tag number/letter and electronic ID on the "team list" provided by the ITC.

P14.   Dropped Dogs: Mushers may drop dogs at designated dog drops. Dogs dropped at checkpoints may be moved to the closest dog collection are at Anchorage, McGrath, Galena, Unalakleet, or Nome. Dogs may be shipped from the collections' area to a location designated by the Musher at the Mushers expense.

Dogs dropped in ANCHORAGE, EAGLE RIVER & WASILLA are the Mushers responsibility.

GOLOVIN & NOME are not dog drops.

Dogs dropped in ALL OTHER CHECKPOINTS will be transported by the ITC.

A Musher is responsible for all of the dogs in the team when at a checkpoint as a race participant and if that Musher subsequently scratches, is withdrawn or is disqualified from that checkpoint. If dogs are not moved out of the checkpoint twenty four (24) hours after the Mushers departure, dogs can be moved by a commercial carrier at the Mushers expense.

Dropped dogs left unclaimed at Eagle River Correctional Centre after four days after their arrival will incur boarding charges at the current rate.

P15.   Food and Gear at Checkpoints: Dog food and supplies must remain at the checkpoint storage area until such time as the Musher is officially checked in. Dog food left behind and dog food from scratched, withdrawn and disqualified Mushers becomes the property of the ITC and may be used at the discretion of race officials.

P16.   Advertising, Public Relations & Publicity: The Iditarod Trail Committee has the unqualified and unrestricted authority to authorise the photographing and collecting of information about the race and all participants therein, and to use such photographs and information for its use in advertising, public relations or other publicity purposes. Each Musher shall sign any and all documents as may be requested by the Iditarod Trail Committee. These documents must be executed at the Mushers' meeting.

P17.   Mushers' Meeting and Drawing: Rookie Mushers must attend the entire rookie Musher meeting to be held on Tuesday, March 3, 1998, beginning at 9:00 a.m.. All Mushers must attend the entire Mushers meeting beginning at 9:00 A.M. on Thursday, March 5, 1998. A fine of from $50 to $500 will be assessed for tardiness or non-attendance at either of these meetings.

The Musher must be present to draw a starting position at the banquet that night. The drawing for positions will be divided. All Mushers paying entry fee on June 28 will draw for the first starting positions. The remaining Mushers entered will draw for the remaining starting positions.

P18.   Race Start and Re-Start:

a) The official starting date and time for the 1998 race will be March 7 1998, at 10:00 a.m. in Anchorage, Alaska.

b) The re-start will be on Sunday March 8, 1998, at 10:00 a.m. in Wasilla. Teams will leave the re-start line on Sunday in the same order and time differential as they left Anchorage on Saturday.

c) The race will be held as scheduled regardless of weather conditions. The starting place and/or re-starting place may be changed by the race marshal and judges due to weather and/or trail conditions. A handler may be required at the start and/or re-start at the discretion of the race marshal.

P19.   Race Timing: For elapsed time purposes, the race will be a common start event. Each Mushers total elapsed time will be calculated using 10:00 a.m., Sunday March 8, 1998, as the starting time. Teams will leave the re-start at staggered intervals and the time differential will be adjusted during the twenty-four (24) hour mandatory layover. No time will be kept between Anchorage and Eagle River.

Any Musher who cannot leave the starting line and/or restarting line in the order drawn must start two (2) minutes after the Musher who drew last place has left. Succeeding late start teams will leave in succeeding order at two (2) minute intervals. Every fifth team will leave after three (3) minutes. Time differential for late starters will be calculated according to their scheduled starting time other than the actual starting time.

P20.   Competitiveness: The race marshal shall have the authority to withdraw a team that is out of the competition and is no longer making a valid effort to compete. The race marshal also has the authority to withdraw a Musher whose conduct, in the race marshal's sole and exclusive judgement, constitutes an unreasonable risk of harm to either himself or other persons.

P21.   Media: Interviews and/or videographic opportunities shall be granted to credentialed members of the media at the discretion of the individual Musher prior to, during, and following the Race, utilising the following as specific guidelines:

21.1   Only the broadcast rights holder shall be granted live interviews and/or videographic opportunities from two hours prior to the start of the Race and until one hour has elapsed following arrival in Nome.

21.2   In the event that more than one camera crew is present in any checkpoint, the first opportunity for an interview shall be granted to the rights holder.

21.3   No special arrangements for the carrying of the broadcasting and/or recording equipment of any sort may be made by any Musher without the express written approval of the Executive Director.

21.4   A Musher will use his/her best personal effort to insure that the spirit of these guidelines is adhered to. Alleged violation(s) will be reported to the ITC Board of Directors. Flagrant or knowing violations of these guidelines shall be subject to penalties assessed by the ITC Board of Directors including, but not limited to, disqualification and the potential forfeiture of his or her entire purse winnings.

P22.   Awards Presentation: All Mushers who have crossed the finish line up to two (2) hours before the awards presentation must be present and the winner must have his/her lead dog(s) present for recognition. Any Musher crossing the finish line who is able to attend the awards presentation ceremony prior to its beginning, will be included in the awards presentation ceremony in the proper order. All Mushers reaching the banquet before its conclusion will
be introduced and given the opportunity to appear before the audience.


P23.   Race Officials:
The race marshal and judges are responsible for the enforcement of all ITC policies and race rules. Race officials shall consult with the Chief Veterinarian on all matters relating to dog care and treatment.

P24.   Protests: A Musher may protest any action of a competitor that he/she feels is contrary to the intent of these rules. To be recognised as a legitimate protest, any infraction observed by a Musher must be presented in writing at the next checkpoint and in no case more than twenty-four (24) hours after a Musher finishes the race.

P25.   Penalties: Policy and rule infractions may result in issuance of warnings, monetary penalties, time penalties, censure or disqualification. Warnings may be issued by any official. Monetary penalties, censures and time penalties require a majority decision of a three-member panel of race officials appointed by the race marshal. Disqualification's require a unanimous decision of a three-member panel of race officials appointed by the race marshal. The chief
veterinarian will be consulted in all cases involving cruel or inhumane treatment.

a) Warnings: Written warnings may be issued for first time or minor violations.

b) Monetary penalties may be imposed up to $1,000 per violation. Such penalties may be deducted from prize money. A Musher with unpaid fines may not enter future Iditarod races until such fines are paid.

c) Censure: The Board of Directors, following completion of the race, may censure a Musher. A censure may include a warning, either public or private and may eliminate the Musher from future races. A written warning, monetary penalty or disqualification must have occurred before censure.

d) Time Penalties: Time penalties may be imposed up to a maximum of two (2) hours per infraction and will be added to the twenty-four (24) hour layover, the eight hour layover on the Yukon River or the eight (8) hour layover at White Mountain. Time penalties will not be levied past White Mountain.

e) Withdrawal: Withdrawal is a process that may be imposed by a three judge panel, either by a majority or unanimous vote, and which has the effect of involuntarily eliminating the Musher and team from the race but which does not imply any deliberate misconduct or violation. The team and Musher must leave the trail and may be assisted by the ITC at the discretion of the race marshal.

f) Disqualification's: Mushers shall be disqualified for rule infractions involving physical abuse of a dog such as kicking or beating, or for cheating or deliberate rule infractions that give a Musher an unfair advantage over another Musher. Mushers may also be disqualified for other acts involving cruel an inhumane treatment. It is intended that the nearest involved officials be included on the panel. The Musher will be given the opportunity to present his case to each member of the panel prior to the decision.

g) Disqualified and withdrawn teams must leave the trail or forfeit the right to enter future Iditarods.

P26.   Appeals: Mushers may appeal race official decisions. Appeals pertaining to warnings or monetary fines must be presented in writing to the ITC within ten (10) days following the awards banquet. Appeals pertaining to censure must be presented in writing to the ITC within ten (10) days after receipt of the censure by the Musher. Appeals pertaining to withdrawals, disqualification's or time penalties must be presented in writing to ITC within 10 days following the awards banquet. Appeals will be considered at an informal hearing before an appeals board appointed by the president of ITC which will be held within
forty-five (45) days of filing the appeal. Review by the appeals board is the exclusive, final and binding remedy for any dispute regarding application of the rules by race officials to a Musher and that the decision of the appeals board is non-reviewable either in state or federal courts.

The ITC shall appoint a rules committee immediately after the 1998 race. The rules committee shall be mandated to complete the rules and policy by sign up date.


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