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Iditarod underway

Hoards of dogs, mushers and their eager fans mingled Saturday at the jovial celebratory kickoff of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska. Sixty-nine mushers and their teams of 16 dogs each inundated Alaska’s largest city for the annual ceremonial start of the race in a fan-friendly atmosphere. The real race starts today, 50 miles north of Anchorage. Saturday morning, mushers left the starting gate two minutes apart in the staggered launch to the race. The mushers take a leisurely 11-mile jaunt on urban trails within the city of Anchorage. Snow had to be trucked in to cover the streets of downtown Anchorage. A lack of snow and warm temperatures in the mid- to upper 40s have been a headache for Iditarod officials this winter. – Associated Press

Tags: Iditarod