The first Iron Dog event started in 1984, in Big Lake following the Northern Route of the Historic Iditarod Trail to Nome. The event began as the "Iron Dog Iditarod", but the name was quickly changed the next year to the "Gold Rush Classic", in 1990 the race was ccognized as the "Iron Dog Gold Rush Classic" for a decade until Tesoro Corporation became a title sponsor. Since 2008, the Alaska National Guard has continuously held the top sponsor position and most recently became the title sponsor. The 2014 Alaska National Guard Iron Dog is now enjoying a strong resurgence in awareness, attendance and participation by more than 20 communities across Alaska.
The Iron Dog course is now over 2,000 miles, from Big Lake to Nome and finishing in Fairbanks, making it the World's longest snowmobile race. Participants must traverse in some of Alaska's the most remote and rugged terrain while confronting some the harshest winter conditions. Survival skills are essential, making it the World's toughest snowmobile race. All teams in race classes are a team of two persons and two snowmobiles for safety.
The Iron Dog offers a non-competitive Recreational Class giving adventure seekers an opportunity to travel 1100 miles on the Northern Route of Historic Iditarod Trail to Nome. These teams of two or more travel the same race trail as the Pro Class Teams.
Iron Dog, Inc. brings a World Class Event across the State of Alaska each February impacting over twenty five Alaskan communities beginning with the "Iron Dog Safety EXPO". This EXPO provides a unique winter recreational trade show that brings in industry vendors, promotes snowmobile safety and education through seminars, and a face to face opportunity for the fans and media to meet with notable Iron Dog athletes.
Iron Dog is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media