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Pete Kaiser, 27, stands out as the first Bethel musher to win his hometown’s big event, the Kuskokwim 300, in 29 years. Now his fast team of mainly 3-year-olds returns to the Iditarod trail.

Lisa Demer

As an Anchorage cardiologist, Mark Selland has an impressive medical resume. He also has an impressive resume when it comes to outdoor escapades. But he says running his first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race may be his toughest challenge yet.

Loren Holmes,Suzanna Caldwell
Mushing has been a surprising venture for Eureka musher Brent Sass, who has wholeheartedly accepted the wilderness lifestyle many mushers have rejected in recent years. Sass claimed his first Yukon Quest championship in February. Suzanna Caldwell
Anchorage cardiologist Mark Selland has completed a long list of adventures that includes climbing Mount Everest, but running the Iditarod has him gearing up for his biggest challenge yet.Suzanna Caldwell
Yukon musher Rob Cooke looks to accomplish a quirky feat: be the first Siberian husky team to complete the Yukon Quest and Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in the same year.Suzanna Caldwell

Jeff King thinks of the Iditarod as a 10-day stretch, in which his dog team must go 100 miles each day. When his dogs run out gas, he pulls over and fills up the tank by feeding and resting them.

Tara Young

Born into an Iditarod legacy, 2012 champion Dallas Seavey talks about the delicate balancing act -- and hard work -- of keeping a top team moving along the trail.

Tara Young
A handful of Norwegian mushers are signed up for the 2014 Iditarod, including two-time champion Robert Sorlie -- and they are expected to be dominant.Suzanna Caldwell

One of Iditarod's best-known and best-loved characters, cancer survivor and two-time runner-up DeeDee Jonrowe knows a thing or two about tenacity.

Tara Young

Back-to-back Iditarod runner-up Aliy Zirkle believes when it comes to mushing, humans are the weakest link -- and as she sees it, her responsibility is to be a dog owner first and a racer second.

Tara Young