Iditarod 2014 got its ceremonial start this morning in downtown Anchorage (the real start is to the North in Willow, Alaska). This year there are 69 contenders who will attempt the 1049-mile race, which follows the Northern route through the villages of Cripple, Ruby, Galena and Nulato.
This year’s trail is expected to have rough conditions because of the unseasonably warm weather Alaska has been seeing — quite the opposite of the continental US. The lack of snow can leave brush, roots and rocks exposed, and the overnight freezes to daytime thaws can make the trail icy, hard, and difficult to manage over the rough terrain. (Anchorage, Alaska)