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Iditarod mushers hit the trail for start of Alaska wilderness race

Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 01:02

Mar. 2 - Iditarod competitors from all over the world will set off for the start of Alaska's famed sled-dog race. Mana Rabiee reports.

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NATS ANNOUNCER: "4, 3, 2, 1 go!" Alaska's famous dog sled race, the Iditerod, is off to a start on Sunday. This ceremonial race on Saturday through downtown Anchorage brought thousands of onlookers. All hoping to get close look at these lovable canine athletes. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED SPECTATOR SAYING: "You expect the athlete dog to be so huge and strong and tough, and they're these tiny little guys, just all muscle. It's really cool to see them in person, close up." Sixty-nine mushers and their dog teams have come from all over the world for the 1,000 mile long race, which usually takes nine days to complete. Teams will brave the darkness, steep climbs, and temperatures well below freezing. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED MUSHER SAYING: "This is dirtbag. Fantastic leader. I don't need a snow hook because I have dirtbag." But Saturday's warm up was all about the dogs. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED SPECTATOR SAYING: "These are professional athletes, they're probably treated better than most kids." UNIDENTIFIED SPECTATOR SAYING: "Those eyes will melt ice in anyone's heart." The Iditerod will take the dog teams through 21 Alaskan villages and ends in Nome, Alaska.

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Iditarod mushers hit the trail for start of Alaska wilderness race

Sunday, March 02, 2014 - 01:02