The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is just starting, where teams of dogs pull sleds for over a THOUSAND miles across freezing cold Alaska. They face ice and snow, a blizzard here and there, and wind chills as low as negative 100 degrees. But even with all that danger and excitement — or maybe because of it — every year since 1973 dozens of “mushers,” or dog-sled drivers, show up with their dog teams to tough it out. As we’ll see here, the more dogs and the lighter the sled, the faster you can go.

*Wee ones:* How many booties is each dog in the picture wearing?

*Little kids:* Each team starts with 16 dogs. Can you count from 1 to 16? Try it! * **Bonus:* While the current record is 8 days, one tough year the fastest team took 20 days. How many days longer was that race than the shortest race?

*Big kids:* If these hard-working dogs each eat 10 pounds of food in a day, how much does a team of 16 dogs need in a day? *Bonus:* We can’t tell you the biggest number of mushers to finish a race…but if you add 3 to it, then divide by 4, then subtract 5, you get 15. What’s the record number of mushers?

__Answers:__

*Wee ones:* 4 booties.

*Little kids:* 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16. *Bonus:* 12 days longer.

*Big kids:* 160 pounds. *Bonus:* 77 mushers.