In Alaska and around the north, sled-dog racers with swagger and a few wins can transform from rural unknowns into big-time celebrities. Even dogs that win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are occasionally memorialized. Just ask any of the thousands of people from around the world who gather each year for the race's ceremonial start, the culmination of a weeks-long winter festival in Anchorage. It's a veritable Who's who of circumpolar sled dog racing, their screaming fans and fumbling paparazzi.
There's no red carpet here but plenty of dog-mushing gossip, family dynasties, generational clashes, media wars, political intrigue and more. Whether in Alaska or watching from Outside, every fan wants to catch a glimpse of their favorite dog team and cheer for that special musher blessed with success and a dedicated dog team.
A few mushing icons have celebrity lookalikes in Hollywood, stars who might bring box office gold to an Iditarod movie. Do our eyes deceive us? Did we pick well or fall short?