The Iditarod has finalized its coronavirus mitigation plan, which requires all mushers and anyone else associated with the race to be fully vaccinated.
The Iditarod’s five top mushers were running within two hours of each other Saturday as they started their last push to the finish line, with Aaron Burmeister of Nome seizing the lead in search of his first victory.
Hundreds of sled dogs and 46 mushers left the Iditarod starting line at the Deshka Landing boat launch on a sunny and clear afternoon.
There’s required testing and face masks, plus a shorter trail and a smaller group of mushers signed up to compete.
The sled dog race has called off this year’s 11-mile dash through Anchorage because of coronavirus concerns.