Warmer weather and population growth are forcing the world’s most famous sled dog race farther north. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will start in Willow, Alaska, 30 miles north of the traditional starting point in Wasilla.
Race officials said “a lot of development” and “less-than-winter” conditions are behind the permanent move. The race traditionally consists of a ceremonial start in Anchorage and a competitive start—called the restart—in Wasilla, where Iditarod headquarters are located. The restart hasn’t taken place in Wasilla since 2002 due to poor racing conditions. This year, the move from Wasilla will be permanent.
The race begins Saturday, March 1, and covers 1,100 miles.