I have been rather surprised by the number of folks that have been asking me what exactly I'm 'judging' on Iditarod. Personally I thought the role and need for it was pretty self explanatory, but I guess that is because I've been around the sport for a long time!!!
So, all sled dog races have a 'Race Marshal' that ensures the rules are followed, meditates 'disputes' between competitors and oversees the overall event. I have done that in the past in events in South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia.
On bigger events/races, the Race Marshal cannot be 'everywhere' so has a team of 'race judges' that back him/her up. A few years back I was a race judge on the Yukon Quest.
Iditarod is obviously a HUGE event with a lot of prize money on the line so there are 10 race judges backing up long time Race Marshal, Mark Nordman. Seven of them are veteran Iditarod judges and the three 'rookie' judges are myself, Thomas Tetz and Warren Palfrey - all Canadians.
All 10 of us, plus Mark Nordman, are Iditarod finishers, so we have lots of experience with the race!!!
As the race progresses (and I figure it out myself) I'll tell you more about the actual duties and responsibilities!!