WILLOW -- With the Iditarod's ceremonial start behind them, mushers were greeted with mild weather on Sunday as they pushed off from the Iditarod's official restart line in Willow to begin the grueling 1,000-mile journey to Nome.

Fans began gathering to watch the race beneath mostly clear skies on Sunday morning with Mt. McKinley visible in the distance, bundled up with thermoses and coffee cups as temperatures hovered around 20 degrees.

Dogs and mushers were rearing to go early in the morning, the excitement palpable in the air. Veteran musher Kristy Berington, wearing bib no. 20, was feeling it too.

"Yeah, this is my fourth one, and I still get excited and nervous all the time," Berington said. "I can't fight the feeling."

Read More: Calm before the storm -- Mushers set out from Willow in Iditarod restart