Mushers, dogs line up for Alaska's Iditarod race

March 1, 2013 - 3:31 PM
Iditarod

FILE - In this March 13, 2012, file photo, Dallas Seavey embraces his leaders, Diesel, left, and Guiness after he arrived at the finish line to claim victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska. The 2013 Iditarod begins March 3. Seavey, 25, the youngest Iditarod winner ever states: “My job as a musher is to train a team and train myself to work with whatever conditions Mother Nature throws at us, and the worse it is, the better we do.” (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester, File)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The world's most famous sled dog race kicks off Saturday with an 11-mile trot through Alaska's largest city.

Think of the short jaunt in Anchorage as the festival part of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The real competition begins Sunday in Willow, 50 miles to the north.

Sixty-six mushers and their dog teams are signed up for the 1,000-mile trek through unpredictable wilderness to the old gold rush town of Nome on Alaska's western coast. Participants include 25-year-old defending champion Dallas Seavey, the youngest musher ever to win.

Whoever reaches Nome first wins a new truck and a cash prize of $50,400.

The rest of the $600,000 purse will be split between the next 29 mushers to cross the finish line.

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