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 Iditarod 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
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
Twice a runner-up, the veteran Iditarod musher, now 60, has seen massive changes in the 1,000-mile race to Nome -- especially the speed with which dog teams travel. Lew Freedman
A dinner "fit for a King" with host Jeff King is set for Anchorage next week.Suzanna Caldwell
Iditarod dogs are ultramarathoners, with the fastest among them running nearly 1,000 miles in a little more than a week, fueled by an amazing number of calories. Racing dogs may eat as many as 12,000 calories a day, the equivalent of about 22 Big Macs from McDonald’s. Jill Burke
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