Every year, dogsled teams brave a 1000-mile journey across Alaska. See what it's like for the racers and their canine teammates as they speed their way from Anchorage to Nome.
The Iditarod is an adventure that defies imagination: a 1,131-mile (1,821-kilometer) dog sled race through desolate tundra, dense forest, snow-swept mountains and the frigid Alaskan coast.
Before the race, veterinarians examine the sled dogs to make sure they stay healthy. If everything's okay all that's left is to wait for race day.
After their pre-race check-up, the sled dogs wait in their kennels until the big day. See sled dogs finally start the Iditarod in the next photo.
This Iditarod competitor is leaving the starting line for the 1,100-mile journey from Anchorage to Nome. See another early racing shot in the next photo.
Here a musher heads down the trail outside of Anchorage, Alaska, at the beginning of Iditarod XXXV. The sled dogs look happy, and have to stay in good health to make it through the race.
This veterinarian examines a sled dog's paw during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The race can be hard on the dogs, who have to cross dangerous, icy terrain at high speed.
Musher Jeff King prepares meals for his sled dogs during the Iditarod Trail Race in Eagle Island, Alaska. Smart racers know to take good care of their sled dogs.
Sled dogs must eat around 10,000 calories per day to generate enough energy for sled racing. At night they sleep with their tails around their noses to keep warm.
Sled dogs come from many breeds and are bred for speed, endurance and leadership. Mushers look for easygoing dogs that are mentally tough and up to the challenge of the week-long Iditarod. See them in action in the next shot.
Norwegian Segrid Ekran runs her team through a trail in Wasilla, Alaska. The Iditarod takes the racers through desolate tundra, dense forest, snow-swept mountains and the frigid Alaskan coast. But the racers aren't always alone.
There are some moments of camaraderie between Iditarod competitors. These mushers grab a bite and some hard-earned rest in Talkotina, Alaska. But soon enough, they're back on the trail.
The trail for the Iditarod is based on the route taken in 1925 when serum was distributed during an outbreak of diptheria. The race lasts for over one week, and then finally the winner is crowned.
After a 1,100-mile race through the Alaskan countryside, this sled dog team celebrates at the finish line in Nome, Alaska.