Iditarod Fast-Fact: The passing game
Here’s what the rules officially say (we’ll explain it after):
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.
So what this means is if Bob Smith is in the lead and Jane Jones catches up to him, she can yell up to him “Hey, I wanna pass!” This means poor old Bob has to stop his team, let Jane fly by and then wait another minute to start his team on the trail again. Even when he gets running again and catches back up to Jane, he has to wait 15 minutes before he yells to Jane “Hey, I wanna pass!”
Imagine if this was the rule for NASCAR!
View more Iditarod Fast-Facts here.