News / USA

Annual Dog Sled Race Begins in Alaska

Cim Smyth of Big Lake, Alaska, drives his dog team along the Campbell Creek Airstrip during the ceremonial start of the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday, March 1, 2014.
Cim Smyth of Big Lake, Alaska, drives his dog team along the Campbell Creek Airstrip during the ceremonial start of the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday, March 1, 2014.
VOA News
Nearly 70 competitors from around the world have begun a grueling race across the remote icy wilderness of Alaska for a chance to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The sled drivers, known as mushers, and their team of dogs kicked off the 41st annual edition of the Iditarod Sunday with a ceremonial ride through the city of Anchorage. The teams then traveled to Willow, a community located 80 kilometers north of Anchorage, where the race officially began.

Over the next several days, the teams will brave bitter freezing cold and isolation as they sled across the Alaska tundra towards the finish line in the town of Nome, located along the Bering Sea -- a distance of about 1,600 kilometers, with several checkpoints along the way. The winning team is expected to arrive in nine days, with many teams taking several more days to reach the finish line.

The race was organized to pay tribute to Alaska's sled dog culture, which was the primary form of transportation and delivery of goods in the remote U.S. northwestern state before the advent of snowmobiles and airplanes, and to preserve the historical Iditarod Trail between Seward and Nome.

The winner of the race receives $50,400 and a new truck.

The defending champion is 54 year old Mitch Seavey, the oldest winner ever.

  • Kristy Berington's dogs cool off with their tongues out during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.
  • Sonny Lindner's team heads into the woods after all the other teams during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.
  • The lead dogs of musher Brent Sass race down 4th Avenue at the ceremonial start to the Iditarod dog sled race in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, March 2, 2013.
  • Musher Danny Seavey and team drop onto a lake on the way to Nome just after the official restart to the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.
  • Norwegian Robert Sorlie greets fans as he leaves the start chute during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.
  • Justin Savidis dogs await lineup in the musher lot before the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska, March 2, 2014.
  • Musher Jason Mackey embraces one of his sled dogs before the ceremonial start of the Iditarod dog sled race in downtown Anchorage, Alaska, March 1, 2014.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid