View Poll Results: Have you heard of the Iditarod race?
Yes, I've heard of the Iditarod race. 316 97.23%
No, I have not heard of the Iditarod race. 9 2.77%
Voters: 325. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:27 PM
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Have you heard of the Iditarod?


I was playing Taboo last night with my family, all of whom have college educations. The word was "Sled". I had a list of words I could not say.

So I said, "In the Iditarod, the animals race by pulling these..." (dog was not allowed)

:blank stares:

I couldn't believe it. They don't know what the Iditarod race is? Like, a super big race with the dogs pulling the people on sleds? Is this not common knowledge?

After the round, I asked and none of them(including one with a doctorate degree) had heard of the Iditarod.

Am I right that at least a couple of these four people should have heard of it? I thought it was well known.
  #2  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:31 PM
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I even follow some of the teams on social media.
  #3  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:37 PM
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Very well known. I can forgive people easily for not knowing what the Barkley Marathons is but the Iditarod? It's been in the press for decades.
  #4  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
So I said, "In the Iditarod, the animals race by pulling these..." (dog was not allowed)

:blank stares:

I couldn't believe it. They don't know what the Iditarod race is?
You shouldn't have pronounced it "Idiotroad."
  #5  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:41 PM
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Am I right that at least a couple of these four people should have heard of it?
No. Four is a small enough number that it's quite likely to find a group of four people who share a somewhat unexpected characteristic purely by random chance.

In North America, is it more likely that a randomly selected group of four college-educated people will contain at least one person who's heard of the Iditarod than that none of the four will have heard of it? Probably, IMHO. Is it seriously remarkable and bizarre that a randomly selected group of four college-educated people will not contain even one person who's heard of the Iditarod? Not at all, IMHO.
  #6  
Old 07-07-2019, 11:51 PM
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Yes, first read of it in Reader's Digest in the 1990s. Some story about how one of the racers was so famished he made a stop at a restaurant diner for breakfast and ordered over $70' worth of eggs, ham and other such food.
  #7  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:01 AM
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I've been in Alaska a couple of times. I learned that some places, in order to fight the dark winter blues, leave their Christmas lights up until the Iditarod (early March), so I've always done the same.
  #8  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:49 AM
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Common knowledge.
  #9  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:14 AM
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I've certainly heard of it.
  #10  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:54 AM
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Fascinated by it ...the good stuff is human endurance, human-animal bonding, women showing that they can damn well do it too. Bad stuff is that it seems like animal abuse may be involved.

So I don't know what to think. But I sure know it's out there.
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  #11  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mahaloth View Post
I was playing Taboo last night with my family, all of whom have college educations. The word was "Sled". I had a list of words I could not say.

So I said, "In the Iditarod, the animals race by pulling these..." (dog was not allowed)

:blank stares:

I couldn't believe it. They don't know what the Iditarod race is? Like, a super big race with the dogs pulling the people on sleds? Is this not common knowledge?

After the round, I asked and none of them(including one with a doctorate degree) had heard of the Iditarod.

Am I right that at least a couple of these four people should have heard of it? I thought it was well known.
Yes, I've heard of the Iditatrod, AND I listen to NPR (which does at least a couple of human interest stories about it each year, AND, I've seen the movie Balto numerous times on the Disney Channel, which planted in my mind the thought that the Iditarod and Balto's claim to fame were connected.

Would you have been allowed to use the word "puppies?" Or grown up puppies?
  #12  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:23 AM
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The OP gives his location as "the earth", but in Chinese characters. So we should consider the possibility that he's not in the US or Canada.

In which case, the possiblity of his circle including many people who have never heard of this race is pretty high. I have lived in Europe and Australia, and I have never heard of it.
  #13  
Old 07-08-2019, 04:59 AM
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I'm a 58 yr old Australian and can't remember a time when I DIDN'T know of the Iditarod.

Universal common knowledge.
  #14  
Old 07-08-2019, 05:36 AM
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Iditarod is one of my favorite words. But OP, sometimes things like this happen, with things that feel like they should common knowledge. I had a conversation that gave me a similar WTF feeling when I realized I was talking to three people who had never even heard of The Dark Crystal, let alone had an opinion about it.
  #15  
Old 07-08-2019, 05:57 AM
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I knew I'd heard the word before but, if you'd asked me what it was, I would have had no idea. Now, if we're playing that kind of games and you mention "Jack Lon-" I'll jump with "White fang! Sleds! Alaska!" before you end the name, but I know a lot of people who wouldn't be able to pick London the writer from London the town... we all have whatever holes in our knowledge we happen to have.
  #16  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:30 AM
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Should be general, common knowledge. I have known about it since I was a child growing up in Florida.
  #17  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:32 AM
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I had the same reaction when I was talking to a group of people and not a single one of them knew what the Northern Lights were (or the aurora borealis).

In a vacuum, I couldn't tell you what "Iditarod" is. But once you start making reference to Alaska and sled dogs, I'd know right away what you're talking about.

Last edited by Grrr!; 07-08-2019 at 06:32 AM.
  #18  
Old 07-08-2019, 06:55 AM
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It became more well known after a 1995 movie about Balto, a dog who made part of a trip to deliver medicine to Nome via dog sled in 1925. That trip inspired the Iditarod.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balto
  #19  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:00 AM
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Dog sled racing is huge in my country, so of course I've heard of it.
  #20  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:08 AM
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When I was living in Jacksonville, FL in the 80s, there was a local show on the public radio station that played during afternoon drive time. The host always featured news on the Iditarod when it was going on. I'm not sure if I'd heard of it before then, tho.

I just asked my 30-y/o SIL - he's heard of it - he even looked it up when he heard about it.
  #21  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:23 AM
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I haven't heard of it. Sled dog racing isn't exactly a sport I hear anything about. I only know it even exists from movies.

I'm honestly surprised the results are so lopsided in favor of knowing about it. I figured it was a sport people only paid attention to if they live in a place where snow covers the ground most of the year, which would not be most of the US.

Last edited by BigT; 07-08-2019 at 07:23 AM.
  #22  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Iditarod is one of my favorite words. But OP, sometimes things like this happen, with things that feel like they should common knowledge. I had a conversation that gave me a similar WTF feeling when I realized I was talking to three people who had never even heard of The Dark Crystal, let alone had an opinion about it.
Uh... I never heard of The Dark Crystal. Is it as common knowledge as the Iditarod?
  #23  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:40 AM
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Yes, I'd heard of it, was everyone in the group from the US?
  #24  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:47 AM
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I've heard of it and i'm not American.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan View Post
Dog sled racing is huge in my country, so of course I've heard of it.
Is this sarcasm, or is it true? I want it to be true, it'd be like Mongolians being mad-keen followers of surfing
  #25  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:50 AM
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Is this sarcasm, or is it true? I want it to be true, it'd be like Mongolians being mad-keen followers of surfing
Just joking, unfortunately.
  #26  
Old 07-08-2019, 07:56 AM
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I remember reading a story in elementary school about a sled dog race (don't remember the title or author -- maybe Jack London or maybe not) in which a young boy races with a single dog whose heart explodes from the exertion at the end of the race -- it stuck with me enough that I wanted to learn more about sled-dog racing. I'm not even sure if the story was about the Iditarod, but I remember being familiar with that race since childhood (in the 80s), due to reading that story.

EDIT: I think this might have been it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone_Fox

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 07-08-2019 at 07:58 AM.
  #27  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
I remember reading a story in elementary school about a sled dog race (don't remember the title or author -- maybe Jack London or maybe not) in which a young boy races with a single dog whose heart explodes from the exertion at the end of the race -- it stuck with me enough that I wanted to learn more about sled-dog racing. I'm not even sure if the story was about the Iditarod, but I remember being familiar with that race since childhood (in the 80s).
Stone Fox. Read it to my kids and it nearly broke me.

The Iditarod is more than a sporting event- it helps us remember a historically resonant event and makes you realize there was a time when most people recognized horror that is diphtheria.
  #28  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:03 AM
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I'm an Australian in my 60s and I have known about it since long before the internet.
  #29  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:05 AM
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Well, this is embarrassing.

I actually do know what the Iditarod is, and as soon as I read the OP with its references to sled dogs and racing, I remembered it correctly.

But my first thought, on reading ONLY the thread title, was: "Of course. It's that big arts festival in Wales."

No, that's the Eisteddfod.
  #30  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:07 AM
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"Alaska, where Men are Men... and Women win the Iditarod!"
  #31  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:18 AM
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Well, sure, but then I'm Alaskan by birth. My wife and I went to the ceremonial start every year from 1999-2009 when we lived there.

Here are some more obscure dog races: who has heard of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous dog races? How about the Yukon Quest? Kuskokwim 300?

There's also the Iron Dog, which is the world's toughest and longest snow machine race at 2,031 miles. The record time is just over 35 hours, which means the sleds are averaging nearly 60 mph.

Last edited by Chefguy; 07-08-2019 at 08:18 AM.
  #32  
Old 07-08-2019, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Well, sure, but then I'm Alaskan by birth. My wife and I went to the ceremonial start every year from 1999-2009 when we lived there.

Here are some more obscure dog races: who has heard of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous dog races? How about the Yukon Quest? Kuskokwim 300?

There's also the Iron Dog, which is the world's toughest and longest snow machine race at 2,031 miles. The record time is just over 35 hours, which means the sleds are averaging nearly 60 mph.
No dogs in the "Iron Dog"? I object!
  #33  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kambuckta View Post
Universal common knowledge.
There isn't really any such thing.

I will say that it was fun to have a poll I could actually answer on its own terms without caveats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
"Alaska, where Men are Men... and Women win the Iditarod!"
I think that's what I like most about it. A physical sport event in which adult men and women compete together on equal terms; and sometimes a woman wins.

I don't know whether this is an indication that this is about the distance needed to put the groups on an equal level, or whether it has to do with the need to work with the dogs. Or, of course, a combination of the two.
  #34  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
No. Four is a small enough number that it's quite likely to find a group of four people who share a somewhat unexpected characteristic purely by random chance.

In North America, is it more likely that a randomly selected group of four college-educated people will contain at least one person who's heard of the Iditarod than that none of the four will have heard of it? Probably, IMHO. Is it seriously remarkable and bizarre that a randomly selected group of four college-educated people will not contain even one person who's heard of the Iditarod? Not at all, IMHO.
As of right now, only 2.91% of the people responding to this poll have not heard of the Iditarod.

If the percentage is similar among the general population, and if the four people mentioned by the OP can be considered a representative sample of that population (both extremely questionable assumptions), the probability that none of them would have heard of the Iditarod is 0.00007170871761‬%.

Although, apparently my browser's spellchecker hasn't heard of the Iditarod either.
  #35  
Old 07-08-2019, 09:56 AM
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Why yes...I have followed it since I first heard of it in the mid 70's.

I am a founding member of an Iditarod internet group that has been together since the mid 90's. We started on Cabela's website then Cabela's shut it down. Bering Straight School District graciously donated web space for our site to migrate to...When they abandoned us we formed out own site. I wrote the "Posting Guidelines" http://www.iditabuds.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=143

I have been in contact with a lot of World Class mushers and started a feature on the website called "ask the Musher" where we would get mushers to participate 9for a week or so) on the forum answering questions.... Here is a link to the first ever "Ask the Musher" Karen Ramstead ...Karen races 100% purebred Siberian Huskies. Most musher race "hybrids" or Mixed bread dogs commonly called Alaskan Huskies or Alaskan yard dogs.

I even once tried a Ask the Iditarodaholic...also restaraunt manger...... thread here at SDMB.

My vote is yes, I know a LOT about the Iditarod.
  #36  
Old 07-08-2019, 10:47 AM
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One of the things on my bucket list is seeing it in person. No desire to compete but I would like to hit a couple sections and watch.
  #37  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ThisSpaceForRent View Post
Here is a link to the first ever "Ask the Musher" Karen Ramstead ...Karen races 100% purebred Siberian Huskies. Most musher race "hybrids" or Mixed bread dogs commonly called Alaskan Huskies or Alaskan yard dogs.

My vote is yes, I know a LOT about the Iditarod.
My bolding. Perhaps that's why she's never won. Siberians are beautiful, but not the best for long haul plus speed.

My wife and I worked two Iditarods; one year on the computers, and one year clearing people off the streets for the race start. Lots of fun.

Kopek: if you ever decide to follow through on your Iditarod dream, check with Bullitt, who went this year.

Last edited by Chefguy; 07-08-2019 at 12:09 PM.
  #38  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:30 PM
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Well, sure, but then I'm Alaskan by birth. My wife and I went to the ceremonial start every year from 1999-2009 when we lived there.

Here are some more obscure dog races: who has heard of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous dog races? How about the Yukon Quest? Kuskokwim 300?

There's also the Iron Dog, which is the world's toughest and longest snow machine race at 2,031 miles. The record time is just over 35 hours, which means the sleds are averaging nearly 60 mph.
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
No dogs in the "Iron Dog"? I object!
I hope nobody ever tells you about the Iron Horse; Id hate for you to get a aneurysm...
  #39  
Old 07-08-2019, 12:32 PM
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You can post a letter that is then specially franked acknowledging that it has been carried ??? Kilometres by dogsled!

I sent a couple, including one to myself!
  #40  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:03 PM
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It actually might be easier today to not have heard of it, it used to get coverage on Wide World of Sports as well as the news, but it’s easier to live in a social media bubble and many people don’t watch the news or keep it to strictly sports news or politics.
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  #41  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
I've heard of it and i'm not American.

Is this sarcasm, or is it true? I want it to be true, it'd be like Mongolians being mad-keen followers of surfing
Or, a Jamaican Olympic bob-sled team.
  #42  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:21 PM
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Uh... I never heard of The Dark Crystal. Is it as common knowledge as the Iditarod?
Same here. I did look up The Dark Crystal and it doesn't ring any bells. In my little corner of the universe, the Iditarod is MUCH better known.
  #43  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:37 PM
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I'm gonna offer a slightly different excuse:
Yes, when I saw the question,I recognized the word,and thought to myself "dogsled race".
But---If you just said it out loud, with no context, I think I would ask: "Huh? What did you say?"

It's back there in my brain somewhere, but strictly as passive knowledge.
"Iditarod" is a word that I recognize when I see it, but don't know how to pronounce, and have never used it or heard it used in conversation.

So if I was sitting there on the couch with your family playing Taboo that night, you'd just have to think of me as a visitor; one of your poorly-educated distant cousins, who you let join in 'cause you don't want to insult him.
Sorry 'bout that.

Last edited by chappachula; 07-08-2019 at 01:39 PM.
  #44  
Old 07-08-2019, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
Common knowledge.
I thought so, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS View Post
The OP gives his location as "the earth", but in Chinese characters. So we should consider the possibility that he's not in the US or Canada.

In which case, the possiblity of his circle including many people who have never heard of this race is pretty high. I have lived in Europe and Australia, and I have never heard of it.
We are in the United States and are all from the United States

Quote:
Originally Posted by madmonk28 View Post
Yes, I'd heard of it, was everyone in the group from the US?
Yes, all from the United States.
  #45  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:01 PM
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I have heard it mentioned more than once on occasion but I never knew what it was.
  #46  
Old 07-08-2019, 02:15 PM
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Uh... I never heard of The Dark Crystal. Is it as common knowledge as the Iditarod?
Here's another one who had to look up The Dark Crystal. But the Iditarod - sure, and I'm from the UK. I could even tell you, without looking, that one of the most successful mushers over the years (maybe the most?) was a woman. Can't remember the name, though.

j
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:53 PM
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Here's another one who had to look up The Dark Crystal. But the Iditarod - sure, and I'm from the UK. I could even tell you, without looking, that one of the most successful mushers over the years (maybe the most?) was a woman. Can't remember the name, though.

j
You're thinking of Susan Butcher, who was the second woman to win it, and the second person to win it four times (after Rick Swenson, who has now won it a record five times). She was also the first person to win it in four out of five years. The first and only other woman to win it was Libby Riddles. I used to work with her brother.

Last edited by Chefguy; 07-08-2019 at 02:57 PM.
  #48  
Old 07-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
Here are some more obscure dog races: who has heard of the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous dog races?
Of course, the best thing to do at Rondy is the Running of the Reindeer!!
  #49  
Old 07-08-2019, 04:31 PM
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So, OP are you going to show your family this thread?
  #50  
Old 07-08-2019, 05:31 PM
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So, OP are you going to show your family this thread?
I showed my wife, who was one of the people who gave me blank stares.

She gets is, but didn't have a huge response.
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