The Alaska Railroad delivers seven side-dump rail cars of Fairbanks snow to Anchorage on Thursday morning, March 3, 2016, to enable Iditarod to stage a ceremonial start on Saturday.
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race mushers will travel only three miles through Anchorage during Saturday's ceremonial start instead of the traditional 11-mile route to the Campbell Airstrip, race organizers announced Wednesday.
Lack of snow in the city prompted the Iditarod Trail Committee to shorten the route, officials said in a written statement. The 85 mushers and their sled dog teams will still start on Fourth Avenue and D Street in downtown Anchorage. They will travel onto Cordova Street, past Sullivan Arena and onto the Chester Creek Trail. Their run will end at the Davenport baseball fields, between Northern Lights Boulevard and East 20th Avenue off Lake Otis Parkway.
"Key personnel within the Municipality of Anchorage's street maintenance, parks and recreation and police departments worked very hard to try to find a way for us to go the full 11 miles to the BLM Campbell Tract. Unfortunately, the warm temperatures persisted and it is no longer possible this year," said Stan Hooley, Iditarod CEO, in the release.