Warm temps, low snow complicates Iditarod training

Unseasonably warm weather in parts of Alaska is forcing the cancellation of qualifying races for future rookies of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and complicating training for mushers signed up for the 1,000-mile trek to Nome.

Iditarod officials say there is still plenty of snow along much of the route, however, and no need yet to worry about drastic changes to the race, which will start March 2 with a ceremonial run in Anchorage. The competitive race begins the following day in Willow, 50 miles to the north.

Race marshal Mark Nordman say it’s too soon to plan a repeat of 2003, when the restart was moved more than 300 miles north to Fairbanks because of too much open water in rivers and creeks crossing some of the trail.