Officials work to get Fairbanks ready to host Iditarod start

By M. Rehemtulla -, CC BY 2.0,

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) – Preparations for the world’s most famous sled dog race are underway in Fairbanks now that the race’s official start has been moved from the Anchorage area.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports ( that Iditarod officials announced the switch last week due to low snow conditions in the Alaska Range.

The Fairbanks North Star Borough has been working with several agencies to coordinate the event, which is expected to draw thousands.

The race starts March 6 on the Chena River and has been pushed back an hour to 11 a.m.

Explore Fairbanks spokeswoman Amy Geiger says the river ice was checked and deemed safe for competitors this week.

For those viewing the 1,000-mile race, officials are working to improve a shuttle bus transportation system.

Fairbanks also hosted the Iditarod’s official start in 2015 and in 2003. The race to Nome usually begins north of Anchorage, in Willow.

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