The Iditarod Diaries
At each checkpoint, mushers must sign in with an official checker, who inspects the contents of their sled bags and reviews the diaries. "I think that the dogs received better care because their information was protected and remained legible throughout the race," remarks Dr. Stuart Nel-son, chief veterinarian for the Iditarod 2001.
"The care and welfare of the dogs is para-mount in this race. This year's diaries and check sheets," Nelson adds, "eliminated the worry associated with wear-and-tear and erroneous information."
A synthetic solution
This year, the officials' records and mushers' diaries were created from synthetic paper manufactured by Yupo. The substrate is designed to be waterproof, tear resistant and environmentally friendly. The "paper," made of category 5 polypropylene plastic film, is recyclable and, when incinerated, yields water, carbon dioxide and ash, according to Yupo.
"We went with YUPO synthetic paper because we needed a substrate that was exceptionally durable and highly functional," notes Bill.
And the investment paid off, according to three-time champion musher, Jeff King: "This is the first time Iditarod used a waterproof paper, and there has not been a single entry lost or damaged as a result. Due to the durability of the diaries, the data accuracy is incredibly high. If we hadn't used these diaries, 25 percent of the sled teams would have lost data."
-Gretchen A. Kirby