WILLOW, Alaska (AP) - It's now a dog race.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began Sunday afternoon in Willow.
Sixty-nine mushers left the town, just north of Anchorage, with the intent of becoming the first to reach the finish line in Nome. Between them and the finish line are about 1,000 miles of unforgiving Alaska terrain.
The race normally takes about 10 days, but warm weather this winter in Alaska has prompted concerns about the trail.
It's a staggered start, meaning one musher leaves Willow every two minutes. First out of the gate was Curt Perano, from New Zealand.