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Photo of huskies pulling a sled
Huskies along the trail during start day, March 1998

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Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race
A Local Legacy

Have you ever been in a race? How long was it?

How would you like to be in a race that is more than 1,000 miles long, involves treacherous climbs, and lasts for nine to 20 days in sub-zero temperatures, much of it in darkness and blinding winds? Sounds incredible? Well, that is what some people do every year in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska.

Called "the last great race on Earth," the Iditarod (pronounced eye-DIT-a-rod) consists of teams of 12 to 16 dogs pulling a sled driven by a man or woman, called a "musher." The race, which begins on the first Saturday every March, runs from Anchorage in the south to Nome on the western Bering Sea. The journey takes the mushers over mountains, through dense forests, and across frozen rivers and tundra. Each year 50 to 80 mushers leave the starting gate, and for many of them their main goal is just to complete the race. The Iditarod is the ultimate test of humans and animals against nature.

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