History of the 1925 Nome Serum Run
News and Goings-on Here's the latest newsworthy information pertaining to this site, the serum run history, Alaska and dog sledding!
Recently, I was contacted by the hosts of a travel & leisure talk show of a New York City radio station, who are preparing to write a book about New York City which will include (as I understand it) a chapter on the Balto statue and sled dog/musher monument in Central Park. They enjoyed my site, and have asked me to come by the station to be interviewed by them! What a fantastic honor this is for me!
Now, it is an AM radio station, but it's also a NEW YORK radio station! New York is the number one radio market in the United States...so even AM stations have great influence and audience "share" (a media ratings term). Here is the link for the show in question: 'Z' Travel & Leisure. The hosts are Art and Susan Zuckerman. They've been kind enough to even invite me to dinner before the show and, being licensed guides themselves, may also take me for a visit to the Balto statue and sled dog/musher monument as well (and the far lesser-known Togo statue in Seward Park in the city, which I introduced them to! You can find information on that and other statues and monuments on the "Monuments and Mounts" article here on the site).
The show will take place on Monday, February 2nd (how fortuitous! That's the date Gunnar Kaasen and Balto's team arrived in Nome back in 1925!), at 8:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time. The site has a "listen live" feature, where you can hear the show live on the internet (hypothetically, no matter where you are in the world). The Zuckermans tell me that, because of their interest in this, they plan on spending at least 25 minutes with this interview, which is longer than they generally spend on any interview! If you're interested, please tune in!
(Sorry - I hope this didn't come off as egocentric...I've never been about that on here or elsewhere. But since it's all tied to Balto and the serum run and such, I figured it couldn't hurt to announce it!)
Serum Run Commemorative Dogsled Race
It is generally known that the annual Iditarod dogsled race pays tribute to the 1925 Nome serum run and its participants, even though the race was not founded specifically for that purpose, and does not run the entire serum run route...but only a part of it.
What is not generally known is that there IS an annual race which not only commemorates that historic event, but retraces the route (and its relay structure) in exact detail. This is the Norm Vaughn Serum Run race, which will leave Nenana this year on the 22nd of February. The race also serves as an important mission of community service, delivering health education programs to each school and native village from Nenana to Nome. Health issues to be presented at each stop will include the need for immunizations for children and adults, medical exams and cancer screening, tobacco cessation, accident prevention, HIV awareness, and drug and alcohol abstinence. In this way, it also carries the spirit of the original serum run, which was done to help speed diphtheria antitoxin to Nome to help stave off an epidemic there that year (1925). Each of the mushers (there are twenty) take (or are assigned) a portion of the original route and, with a team of assembled of the same number of their dogs as were used by the musher and team they are each representing, they make their run across the same rugged, dangerous country as the originals did, following roughly the same schedule as well.
One of the veteran mushers of this modern-day commemorative race, Von Martin, has visited several times and expressed his appreciation and enjoyment of it, and told me that he's spread the word about the site amongst the race community up there in Alaska. He also became a member of the forum on my site, and has been very supportive! He's about to leave for the long drive up to Alaska for the race preparations (as of this Saturday), and has asked that I pass along the following information:
Recently, he e-mailed me about preparations for this year's race. Every year, he defers some of the cost through selling "mail cachets" to the first 100 people willing to donate $50.00 for it. It's a nice piece of artwork designed by an Alaskan student, and signed by the musher himself. Here is the information: http://s1.webstarts.com/CalloftheWildHuskies/sr_mail_cachet.html.
This is a great way to get involved in a worthy cause as well as a fun and commemorative race! Won't you consider purchasing a cachet? I am planning to...if I can scrounge up the money in time!