ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race got under way in Anchorage with fans cheering on their favorite mushers and dog teams at the race's ceremonial start in Anchorage.
Sixty-two teams are entered in the 2011 Iditarod, which at 1,150 miles is the world's longest sled dog race. The top 30 finishers will share a purse of $528,000, and the winner will get $50,400 and a new truck.
Defending champion Lance Mackey is trying for his fifth consecutive Iditarod win.
Mackey finished the 2010 race in eight days, 23 hours, 59 minutes -- the second-fastest finish in Iditarod history. He says he has the confidence, desire and the dog team to do it again and reach Nome first.