Fans bundled up in Anchorage Saturday, braving wind-chills just above zero for the 11-mile ceremonial run from downtown's Fourth Avenue. Mushers were relaxed, but many of their dogs were wild with eagerness, barking, wagging their tails and jumping in place.
The show is put on for the throngs who come to cheer. Snow is trucked in to cover the streets for the short run. And the sleds carry passengers, called Idita-Riders, who bid for the privilege in an auction.
The actual start Sunday is about 50 miles north of Anchorage in the town of Willow.