Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
Starts March 3, Alaska, USA
This year, more than 1000 dogs and 65 mushers are expected to cross the starting line in the 40th annual Iditarod. The race, which ends in Nome, sees dog sled teams cover more than 1500 kilometers in as little as nine days, crossing two mountain ranges in the process.
If you miss the 10 AM ceremonial start in Anchorage on March 3, donâ€™t worryâ€”thereâ€™s still a chance to cheer on the teams. Between the Willow Lake and Yentna checkpoints, spectators set up camp tailgate-style, complete with bonfires and banners. But donâ€™t expect to find only bearded mountain men racing the trailâ€”the 2012 mushers include a set of twin sisters, a former model and even a mortician. iditarod.com
Swamp Buggy Races
March 3 & 4, Naples, Florida, USA
Jennifer Federico is royaltyâ€”sheâ€™s the Swamp Buggy Queen of Naples Florida. But this weekend, sheâ€™ll be handing her crown to one lucky girl who, as part of her official duties, will participate in the Swamp Buggy Queenâ€™s Annual Mudbath. She'll be dunked, gown and all, into one of the muddiest section of the race track.
Taking place this weekend at the Florida Sports Park, over 70 buggies will be competing for cash prizes in the Spring Classic. In addition to watching the big race, spectators can go for a ride on a buggy or attend the opening day dance. Tickets to watch a beauty queen get thrown in mudâ€”and the races, of courseâ€”are available online for $16. www.swampbuggy.com
Arctic Winter Games
March 4-10, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada
This year, Whitehorse plays host to the worldâ€™s largest northern multi-sport and cultural event. Teams from the northern United States and Canada, Greenland, Russia and SĂˇpmi gather to compete in a range of sporting events.
Spectators will be familiar with many of the sports, including soccer, Alpine skiing and snowboarding, but the rules to games distinct to the Inuit and Dene people may be new. In snowsnake, competitors try to throw a spear the furthest in the snow, while the Dene hand games see players deceive one another in a token hiding game. Many cultural events, such as snow carving on Main Street, are free to attend, but adult spectators to the games must pay $15 for a day pass. www.awg2012.org
International Womenâ€™s Day
March 8, Worldwide
Over two-thirds of the worldâ€™s 796 million illiterate people are women, many of whom live in rural areas. Despite the adversity they face, rural women play an integral role in improving the nutrition, health and education of their communities. This just one of the reasons that the United Nations declared International Womenâ€™s Day 2012 theme as â€śEmpower Rural Womenâ€”End Hunger and Poverty.â€ť
According to the United Nations, the day is meant not only to acknowledge the equality and development of women, but also an opportunity to reflect on how far women have come in their struggle. To find a celebratory or education IWDâ€™s event near you, check out internationalwomensday.com, which lists events by country. www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/index.html