Pandemic forces route change, other precautions for Iditarod


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The world’s most famous sled dog race starts Sunday, but this year’s edition of the Iditarod will see a lot changes forced by the pandemic.

The race will be shorter this year, only 860 miles instead of a thousand.

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This will be the first time in race history that the finish line won’t be in Nome. Instead, mushers will go to the ghost town of Iditarod and loop back to the Anchorage area for the finish.

Mushers will undergo vigorous COVID-19 testing before and during the race and if anyone gets a confirmed positive test, they are out of the race.

Most of the rural Alaska villages will be bypassed for safety reasons, leaving mushers to sleep in tents.