Contenders set to run Alaska's 1,000-mile Iditarod

RACHEL D'ORO Associated Press Published:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- A heavy snow year in Alaska and jumbled ice along the state's western coast are likely to be among the main challenges for mushers in this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

A ceremonial start is scheduled for Saturday in Anchorage. The official start for the 66 mushers and their dog teams comes Sunday north of Anchorage, with a finish expected about eight days later in Nome.

The trail will take mushers about a thousand miles across the state, including along the icy Bering Sea coast.

The field includes mushers from Alaska, four other states and four other countries, and it's headed by defending champion John Baker.