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Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race underway in Alaska

March 05, 2013|By Houston Mitchell

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began on Sunday in Alaska, with 65 teams making their way through punishing wilderness toward the finish line in Nome on Alaska's western coast 1,000 miles away.

Among the competitors were defending champion Dallas Seavey and four-time winners Lance Mackey, Jeff King and Martin Buser.

“I love running the dogs, working with the dogs,” said Cindy Gallea, of Wykoff, Minn., whose best finish  among 10 Iditarods was 33rd. “I love being in Alaska, being around the beauty.”

PHOTOS: Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

The Iditarod winner gets a new truck and $50,400. The rest of the $600,000 purse will be split among the next 29 mushers to cross the finish line.

Don't expect anyone to cross the finish line any time this week though. The record was set by John Baker in 2011 with a time of 8 days 19 hours 46 minutes 39 seconds.

Each team has 12 to 16 dogs, and at least six dogs must be in harness when crossing the finish line.

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