The Husky Huskies Are Ready To Haul
ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, WAS THE SCENE Saturday for the ceremonial start of the greatest dog race in the world, The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
66 Mushers Pushed Off in Saturday's Ceremonial Start.
(Reuters / Wilder photo)
Saturday's 11-mile jaunt around the streets of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, was not part of the official time of the race which begins today (Sunday). It served as a kick-off to the race and accompanying celebration. Sixty-six teams have entered this year's race, the 41st running of the Iditarod the follows the 1,000 mile-long trail used by dog teams in the 19th century to transport goods, food and supplies to the frontier settlements and gold mines. They would return via another trail bringing back the minerals, animal pelts, and other products of the Last Frontier.
Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King drives his dog team down 4th Avenue
during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday, March 2, 2013,
in Anchorage, Alaska. (Anchorage Daily News / Roth)
The race will begin in Willow, a town about 30 miles north of Anchorage, and follows the "northern trail" in even-numbered years. In alternate years it uses the "southern trail" which goes through the race's namesake Iditarod (now a ghost town). The race usually is completed in about nine days depending on the weather conditions which are still very wintry up there, and ends in the gold-rush town of Nome.
This March, 2005 photo shows a musher driving through
the Farewell Burn area. (AP / Grillo photo)
Whoever reaches Nome first wins a new truck and $50,400. The next 29 mushers to cross the finish line will split rest of the $600,000 purse.
Here are some views taken at yesterday's ceremonies:
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