The dogs leaped and barked when it was their turn to leave the downtown chute for an 11-mile run across Alaska's largest city. Mushers ran with 12 dogs instead of the 16-dog teams they'll use when the actual competition starts Sunday in Willow, about 50 miles to the north.
Seventy-one teams are entered in the trek to Nome, an old gold rush town on Alaska's western coast. More than a third of the mushers are from seven other countries and nine other states.
Text & Images: AP
Image: Iditarod musher Dave DeCaro's lead dogs round Cordova corner at the start of the 2010 Iditarod sled dog race on Saturday, March 6, 2010 in Anchorage, Alaska.