The original Serum Run occurred in 1925, when a
diphtheria outbreak occurred in Nome in the dead of winter. The
fastest method of delivery was by dog sled from the rail line in Nenana.
The 'Race To Nome' drew public attention across the nation, as 20 mushers
and their teams bravely fought artic conditions to save lives in Nome.
This was not a race for pride or honor,
it was a race to save lives and every effort was made to get the Serum
For more detailed information and some great
reading, I suggest you read the two books that have been written about
the original 'Race To Nome.
The Quick Story:
Information for the following text was
gathered from 'The Race to Nome' by Kenneth A. Ungermann, which is out of
print. Kenneth attempted to compile as much accurate and factual
information as he could about the Serum Race to produce the book. It's an
easy reading short book that gives you a good history of the Epidemic in
Nome and the Race to save lives.
While the race to Nome began when Dr.
Curtis Welch in Nome diagnosed a Diphtheria outbreak. With very little
serum in Nome a call for help was sent out. While serum was being rushed
north the logistics of how to transport it Nome where settled. It was
decided that the fastest way to get the serum to Nome was to dog sled it
over 600 miles from Nenana. Initially one musher was going to make the
trip, then a second musher starting from the other end would meet him on
the trail. Later it was decided a relay of mushers and dog teams would
cover the 647 mile trail. The best mushers from each community along the
way was selected. Dog teams where assemble by selecting the best dogs
from all the teams. This was not a race for pride or honor, it was a race
to save lives and every effort was made to get the Serum through.
There are many background stories behind the
decision mush the serum to Nome, and behind the 20 mushers and their
journey's, which you can find by reading the books about the 1925 'Race to
"The Race to Nome" by
Kenneth A. Ungermann
This book is
out of print but may still be found at
used book stores like
Wave Books , www.half.com or
This is an quick read, and covered more of the
details of each individual mushers journey on the trail along with some
"The Cruelest Miles"
by Gay and Laney Salisbury
This was published in 2003. This book provides
more background and historic details surrounding the original run, with
less detail on the mushers journey over the trail. Great Read!
Musher Coordinator, Erin Mclarnon & I, with Fritz in Nome 2006.
Fritz was a lesser know lead dog on the 1925 run.