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The ceremonial start is important to the Iditarod for both image and financial reasons. So-called "Iditariders'' pay thousands of dollars each year in an auction for seats in the sleds of Iditarod mushers who drive their dog teams through the city.

Craig Medred
With technical obstacles like the Dalzell Gorge and Happy River Steps gone from this year's rerouted Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, weather is likely to be the biggest potential hazard.Suzanna Caldwell
Alaska parents want to know the best places to watch Iditaraod team after team trot by, while allowing wiggly kids to play over the hours it takes all 78 teams to run by.Erin Kirkland
The Iditarod's humble roots are being celebrated in a self-published anthology by a group of race organizers known informally as "the Old Iditarod Gang."Suzanna Caldwell
OPINION: Labs are one of the most common working breeds. Alaska labradors have only a short waterfowl season. However, they can get out for grouse all winter. A low snow year like this one is good for working breeds. They are not limited by a heavy snow pack and can still work in the woods.John Schandelmeier
OPINION: With a little imagination and the right attitude, Alaskans can pretend it's spring even in early March. The Bird-to-Gird trail is virtually ice- and snow-free, and a Homer beach walk can be inviting this time of year.Alli Harvey
John Lackey of Anchorage rolled into McGrath on Tuesday morning to win the first stage of the Iditarod Trail Invitational human-powered race in 1 day, 18 hours and 32 minutes -- about eight hours faster than any dog team has made the trip. Craig Medred
Big Lake musher and four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser's memoir has been issued a week before the 43rd Iditarod gets started. It will be Buser's 32nd race. Suzanna Caldwell
The Iditarod restart, already moved north from Willow, will now be moved off the Chena River in Fairbanks due to thin ice and open water.Suzanna Caldwell
Everything you need to know about the 43rd running of the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.Alaska Dispatch News