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March 9, 2009

Dog sledding

As winter begins to wind down, we are still in the middle of sled dog racing season. The Iditarod in Alaska had its ceremonial start in Anchorage last Saturday (the 7th), the Yukon Quest race from Canada's Yukon Territory to Alaska took place back in mid-February, and the Can-Am Crown races were held in Maine only a couple of weeks ago. The most well-known of the races, the Iditarod Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, covers 1,868 km (1,161 mi), and takes anywhere from 8 to 12 days for mushers and their teams of 16 dogs to complete. Collected here are several photos from recent sled dog races and training sessions around the Northern Hemisphere. (28 photos total)

A Dog belonging to Rhonda O'Hearn of Sandown, NH, who is competing in the Willard Jalbert, Jr. CAC 60, a 60-mile race, waits before the start of the race at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff)

Jean Claude Valette of France is pulled by his Siberian Huskies in front of mount Eiskogel during the Sled Dog World Championships in Werfenweng in Austria's Salzburg province February 15, 2009. (REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader) #

Ed Obrecht of Ladysmith, Quebec develops ice on his beard during the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Portage Lake, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

Dogs belonging to Rhonda O'Hearn of Sandown, NH, a competitor in the Willard Jalbert, JR CAC 60, anticipate the start of the race at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

A dog owned by Marc Alain of St. Etienne des Gres, Quebec accumulated ice on its chin during a 60-mile run in the Willard Jalbert, JR CAC 60 at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

A dog sits in a vehicle outside of the Portage Lake checkpoint during the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Portage Lake, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

Jason Barron of Lincoln, MT readies his dogs for rest at the Allagash checkpoint, the last checkpoint of the race, during the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Allagash, ME on Sunday, March 1, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

Dogs take a rest at the first checkpoint during the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Portage Lake, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

Dogs at rest at the first checkpoint during the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Portage Lake, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

Christine Richardson of Canaan, NH, makes her way across the snow near Portage Lake during the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 during the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Portage Lake, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

A dog team races down the trail during the ceremonial start of the 2009 Iditarod Race in Anchorage, Alaska March 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

Christine Richardson holds her dog close before competing in the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 at the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, ME on Saturday, February 28, 2009. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

Mac, one of Jeff Holt's sled dogs, peeks out of its box as he waits to join the team and begin the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow, Alaska, Sunday, March 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Al Grillo) #

A dog team charges down the trail shortly after leaving the gate during the ceremonial start of the 2009 Iditarod Race in downtown Anchorage, Alaska March 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

The two-time defending Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Lance Mackey sits with his lead dog Larry at the Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, Wednesday, March 4, 2009. Mackey, who the won Iditarod and Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race twice in a row in 2007 and 2008, is the only musher to win both of the long distance sled dog races in the same year. (AP Photo/Al Grillo) #

Jeff Holt's team heads down the trail during the official restart of the Iditarod Race in Willow Alaska March 8, 2009. Under sunny skies, teams of mushers and their dogs, mostly Alaskan huskies, lined up with start times every two minutes, then rode through downtown streets to the cheering of dog-sled fans. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

The dog team of Canada's Warren Palfrey relaxes in the truck before getting harnessed for the ceremonial start of the 2009 Iditarod Race in Anchorage, Alaska March 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

Four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Martin Buser races out of the chute during the official restart of the Iditarod Race in Willow Alaska March 8, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

Sam and Tom, owned by Andre Longchamps of Pont-Rouge, Quebec, look exhausted after running the 250 miles in the Irving Woodlands CAC 250 during the Can-Am Crown sled dog races in Fort Kent, ME on Monday, March 2, 2009. Longchamps finished 9th. (Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff) #

A Russian musher driving a team of sled-dogs past a radar antenna 40km outside of Moscow in Chulkovo, Russia. Members of the Concord Dog Lovers Club held a training session for an upcoming competition. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Russian musher handles his team of sled-dogs 40km outside of Moscow in Chulkovo, Russia. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A musher interacts with a sled-dog 40km outside of Moscow in Chulkovo, Russia. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A dog team charges down the trail shortly after leaving the gate during the ceremonial start of the 2009 Iditarod Race in downtown Anchorage, Alaska March 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

A dog team charges down the trail shortly after leaving the gate during the ceremonial start of the 2009 Iditarod Race in downtown Anchorage, Alaska March 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

A husky sled-dog runs through deep snow 40km outside of Moscow in Chulkovo, Russia. (DMITRY KOSTYUKOV/AFP/Getty Images) #

A dog from Ramey Smyth's team is pictured moments before heading into the chute during the official restart of the Iditarod Race in Willow Alaska March 8, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #

Race veteran Wayne Hall, of Eagle, Alaska, leans into a turn on the trail while driving his dog team along the Takhini River after the start of the 2009 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race on Saturday, Feb. 14, 2009, in Whitehorse, Yukon. This year marked the 26th running of the 1,000-mile race between Whitehorse and Fairbanks, Alaska. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Eric Engman) #

A dog handler is licked by a member of the team before harnessing the dog for the ceremonial start of the 2009 Iditarod Race in Anchorage, Alaska March 7, 2009. (REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder) #



 
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