Around 2000 dogs participate in sled dog race in Alaska

The official start of the race is on Monday.

Five other mushers have four wins, but no one in the past quarter-century has captured the elusive fifth title.

The victor of the almost 1,000-mile race across Alaska is expected in Nome early next week.

A farm girl who first followed news coverage of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race more than a decade ago as a homeschool project now is handling her own team in the iconic Alaskan race.

Those are among the highlights of the 2017 Iditarod as Alaska prepares to play host to the world's most famous sled dog race.

Seavey, a four-time Iditarod victor, set a race record a year ago with his time of eight days, 11 hours, 20 minutes and 16 seconds.

The 72 mushers in the race greeted fans, took pictures with them and signed autographs.

Neese moved from her family's small farm in OH to Michigan's Upper Peninsula a few years ago to pursue her racing.

Racers then leave the downtown area every two minutes in a staggered start with an Iditarider - people who won auctions for a prime spot in a competitor's sled - for an 11-mile course on city trails and streets. One of dog mushing's leading figures has suffered panic attacks and undergone therapy in the year since she was stalked by a drunken snowmobile driver on an isolated stretch of the Iditarod race across Alaska.

While there will be 2,000 dogs in downtown Anchorage for the event, it's not pet-friendly.

"Seeing the interaction between the mushers and the dogs is just spectacular", she said.

  • Carolyn Briggs