Students take off from the starting line at the third annual St. Mary School Iditarod on Friday at St. Mary School in Lake Leelanau. Sixth-grade teacher Suzi Owens uses the real Iditarod race throughout the school year to teach subjects such as math, science, social studies and language arts. Each year, the students follow the progress of the 1,150-mile race that spans from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nome, Alaska, over a 10- to 17-day period. The students build their own sleds and recruit a team of "dogs" — fifth through 12th grade students. The school Iditarod covers the entire school and parish campus. Awards are given out following the race similar to those awarded to the Alaskan teams, including the Red Lantern Award for the team who finishes the race in last place.
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