Climate Change, COVID Loom Over Alaska's 50th Iditarod Sled Dog Race

"ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Forty-nine mushers and their teams of huskies trotted through Alaska's largest city on Saturday to start the 50th annual running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, an event transformed by climate change and commercialism since its humble beginnings.

The starting gate has been returned to downtown Anchorage, a year after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted organizers to launch the 2021 race from a secluded riverside spot north of the city and off limits to the usual crowds of spectators.

Contestants forged through unusually warm and sloppy conditions on the first day of the run, with temperatures hovering between freeze and thaw. Wet snow soaked teams and spectators lining the city trail."

Yereth Rosen reports for Reuters March 7, 2022.

Source: Reuters, 03/07/2022