Monday, June 19, 2023

Iditarod raises purse ahead of 2024 race

After six years of no purse raises that saw inflation play a pivotal role in the shrinking numbers on the roster, the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) announced Saturday that they had raised the overall purse for the 2024 race.

With just a week away from the opening of registration for the 2024 Iditarod, it's quite obvious that the ITC hopes that this will boost opening day sign ups. Last year's race saw the smallest roster in race history with just 32 taking off for Nome, and only 21 signing up at the picnic. One of the top reasons given by teams as to why they didn't sign up was because the financial strain training and entering the race is on most kennels. 

The ITC announced an additional $50,000 to the TOTAL purse to include the "special awards" (like Humanitarian, First to the Coast, Most Inspirational, etc.) They have not given a breakdown as of yet how the purse will pay out but announced the purse for 2024 will be $574,000. If they hold to the traditional purse break down, the majority will go to the top 20 finishers before giving the rest of the field $1049. 

The Iditarod stated:

"This increase was a result of a commitment and subsequent fundraising effort by the Iditarod Board of Directors. “Given that the pandemic and inflation disproportionately impacted our mushing community we feel it is very important to increase the prize purse at this time. We realize more is needed to further defray the increasing costs of maintaining an Iditarod kennel, but this is the start of what we hope will be our ability to further increase the purse,” said Mike Mills, President of the Iditarod Board of Directors."

The release also promised more announcements on fundraising initiatives to support the Last Great Race coming soon. 

Sign ups for the 2024 Iditarod open on Saturday, June 24, 2023 at 9:30am (Alaska Time). Mushers may sign up in person or online. At this time (Monday, June 19) the Iditarod's link to the "2024 Information for Mushers" link does not work, so it will be interesting to see when that goes live to see rules/entry fees/etc.

What do you think of this announcement? Do you think this will be enough to see a surge of sign ups this year? Any guess as to how many sign up Saturday? Comment below with your thoughts!

Want to support this fan run blog? Click here to "buy me a coffee".


  1. How much does it really cost a musher to run vs what they might win?

    1. A very good question. A few years ago Danny Seavey did the math of what his dad's kennel spent in prepping for the race and maintaining the kennel during one of the years his dad won... Mitch wouldn't have been in the green without their touring companies even with the winner's winnings.

      I think Dallas also did a post one year saying he won the check and turned around and wrote a check for most of it to pay for dog food.

      No one gets rich with the purse, or even breaks even, but it does help your sponsorships/marketing if you're a successful Iditarod musher.