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Slideshow: Handlers perform unglamorous tasks, but mushers would be lost without them on race day

Wayne Curtis’s sled dogs Scorpio and Hook look over the scene at an Iditarod start dog handler training in early February.
Bob Hallinen
Patty Bedacht and Richard Speakman practice handling musher Wayne Curtis's dog team at Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla. Iditarod volunteers conducted a start line dog handlers training in early February.
Bob Hallinen
Allen Lau practices handling Wayne Curtis’ sled dog team during dog handler training at Iditarod Headquarters in Wasilla early this month.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod Anchorage start coordinator Karl Heidelbach gives instructions to Erin Quinn and Nick Olivares at a volunteer dog handlers training session Feb. 2 in Wasilla.
Bob Hallinen
Alaska Dispatch