In Pictures: Alaska's epic dog-sled race - Al Jazeera English

In Pictures: Alaska's epic dog-sled race

The gruelling contest features mushers and dog-sled teams racing 1,688 kilometres between Anchorage and Nome.

Jet Belgraver |

The Iditarod dog-sled race - often called "the Last Great Race" - runs from Anchorage to the old, gold rush town of Nome, and is held every year in the US state of Alaska.

This test of endurance features teams that consist of a musher - dog-sled driver - and a team of 16 dogs to pull the sled. It is a gruelling trek that pits man and dog against the wilderness.

The distance is 1,688 kilometres, and takes more than a week to complete. The winner takes home a pot of money, a truck, and adoration from fans the world over.

This year's race has been one of the toughest on record, due to warmer-than-usual conditions and the lack of snow. Just weeks before the start, organisers even considered moving the start of the race to Fairbanks, north of Anchorage. Days into the race, more than a dozen mushers "scratched", or quit, because either they or their sleds were too beat up to continue. Just hours before the finish, the musher in first place, Jeff King, had to scratch due to extreme weather and wind on the approach to Nome.

Aliy Zirkle and Dallas Seavey ended up racing neck-and-neck to the finish line. Seavey won, his second win. Zirkle was the runner up - for a third year in a row.

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