Dog mushing has always been a part of life in the Arctic. It was the primary form of transportation until snowmachines became widely available in the 1950s. Dog mushing continued as a part of tourism, subsistence hunting, and competitive mushing. The Northwest Arctic is home to many of the great athletes of dog mushing. In the late 1900s, many villages had racing associations including the Kiana Dog Mushers Club and the Kotzebue Dog Mushers Association (KDMA) hosting sprint and distance races like the Kobuk 220 and the Coastal 250. The Kobuk 440 Sled Dog Race has taken place every spring since 1988. The Kobuk 440 Racing Association formed in 2011.