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Photos: Meet the mushers of Iditarod 2014

Curt Perano #2, Central Otago, New Zealand.
Loren Holmes photo
Paige Drobny #3, Fairbanks, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Gus Guenther #4, Clam Gulch, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Dan Kaduce #5, Chatanika, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Mitch Seavey #6, Seward, Alaska
Loren Holmes photo
Michael Williams, Jr #7, Akiak, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Yvonne Dabakk #8, Oslo, Norway.
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Newton Marshall #9, St. Anne, Jamaica.
Loren Holmes photo
Aliy Zirkle #10, Two Rivers, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Richie Diehl #11, Aniak, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Tommy Jordbrudal #12, Longyearbyen, Norway.
Loren Holmes photo
Kelly Maxiner #13, Big Lake, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Dallas Seavey #14, Willow, Alaska.
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Michelle Phillips #15, Tagish, Yukon, Canada.
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DeeDee Jonrowe #16, Willow, Alaska.
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Jeff King #17, Denali, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Monica Zappa #18, Kasilof, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Allen Moore #19, Two Rivers, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Scott Janssen #20, Anchorage, Alaska.
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Christian Turner #21, Karratha, Australia.
Loren Holmes photo
Robert Sorlie #22, Hurdal, Norway.
Loren Holmes photo
Aaron Burmeister #23, Nome, Alaska.
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Ellen Halverson #24, Wasilla, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Nathan Schroeder #25, Chisholm, Minnesota.
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Charley Bejna #26, Addison, Illinois.
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Jessie Royer #27, Darby, Montana.
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Cim Smyth #28, Big Lake, Alaska.
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Nicolas Petit #29, Girdwood, Alaska.
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Rick Casillo #30, Willow, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Lev Shvarts #31, Willow, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Linwood Fiedler #32, Willow, Alaska.
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Karin Hendrickson #33, Wasilla, Alaska.
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Justin Savidis #34, Willow, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Paul Gebhardt #35, Kasilof, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Martin Buser #36, Big Lake, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Jake Berkowitz #37, Big Lake, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Jim Lanier #38, Chugiak, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Jason Mackey #39, Wasilla, Alaska.
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Jan Steves #40, Edmonds, Washington.
Loren Holmes photo
Lisbet Norris #41, Willow, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Cindy Gallea #42, Wykoff, Minnesota.
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Peter Kaiser #43, Bethel, Alaska.
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Mats Pettersson #44, Kiruna, Sweden.
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John Dixon #45, Fairbanks, Alaska.
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Cindy Abbott #46, Irvine, California.
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Joar Leifseth Ulsom #47, Mo i Rana, Norway.
Loren Holmes photo
Travis Beals #48, Seward, Alaska.
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Ramey Smyth #49, Willow, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Marcelle Fressineau #50, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
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Ray Redington, Jr #51, Wasilla, Alaska.
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Anna Berington #52, Kasilof, Alaska.
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John Baker #53, Kotzebue, Alaska.
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Ralph Johannessen #54, Dagali, Norway.
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Elliot Anderson #55, Big Lake, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Kristy Berington #56, Kasilof, Alaska.
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Matt Failor #57, Willow, Alaska.
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Hans Gatt #58, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.
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Karen Ramstead #59, Perryvale, Alberta, Canada.
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Alex Buetow #60, Fairbanks, Alaska.
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Hugh Neff #61, Tok, Alaska.
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Danny Seavey #62, Seward, Alaska.
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Katherine Keith #63, Kotzebue, Alaska.
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Robert Bundtzen #64, Anchorage, Alaska.
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Ken Anderson #65, Fairbanks, Alaska.
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Mike Ellis #66, Two Rivers, Alaska.
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Wade Marrs #67, Wasilla, Alaska.
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Mike Santos #68, Cantwell, Alaska.
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Abbie West #69, Two Rivers, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Sonny Lindner #70, Two Rivers, Alaska.
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

Seven billion people in the world, and of those, only 851 have ever attempted what these 69 men and women will attempt: a thousand-mile race up the Iditarod Trail. More people have won Academy Awards than have entered the Iditarod. More people have Super Bowl rings. Nearly as many have traveled to outer space.

This year's competitors come from Alaska and the Yukon and Jamaica and New Zealand and Longyearbyen, Norway; they are engineers and undertakers and and tour operators and parents and emigrants and students. For 16 of them, it is the first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race they'll spend on the runners, though many of them have been behind the scenes for years as handlers, volunteers and supporters. And for all of them, veterans and rookies alike, it looks like it will be a rough race, with trail conditions that might generously be called less than ideal. 

But Thursday night at the starting banquet, as they gathered in T-shirts and bunny boots and furs and dresses, they were in high spirits, looking ahead to the weekend, the trail and the adventure of the Last Great Race. Only 851 people on the planet have done what they're about to do. These are the human faces of the 2014 Iditarod.