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March 25, 2011

Dog Sledding season - coming to a close

The well-known Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, held in Alaska, welcomed its first native Alaskan champion since 1976. Begun in 1973, the grueling race - through blizzards, whiteout conditions, sub-zero temperatures, gale-force winds - covers 1,150 miles in nine to fifteen days from Willow to Nome, Alaska. There are many other sled dog races in locations around the world, including races in Norway, British Columbia, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Minsk, and through the Alps of France and Switzerland. The following images are a collection from those races. -- Paula Nelson (42 photos total)

A dog rests during the 1000 km (621 miles) long Finnmarkslopet, the world's northernmost sled dog race, in Finnmark county, northern Norway, March 14, 2011. (Tore Meek/Scanpix/Reuters)

Musher Robert Soerli races between Levajok and Tana Bru during the 1000 km (621 miles) long Finnmarkslepet, world's northernmost sled dog race, March 13, 2011. (Tore Meek/Scanpix/Reuters) #

Last year's six dog champion Pete Jones prepares for the 28th annual Aviemore Husky Sled Dog Rally beside Loch Morlich on January 20, 2011 in Aviemore, Scotland. Over 1,000 dogs took part in the biggest event in the Husky dog calendar with teams coming from as far as the Isle of Wight and Devon for one of the most challenging and prestigious races. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #

Walker, one of the the wheel dogs on the team of Mike Williams Jr., is fed at Puntilla Lake at the Rainy Pass, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 7, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

Iditarod musher Hugh Neff, from Tok, Alaska, arrives at the Kaltag checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March, 12, 2011, in Kaltag, Alaska. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

Iditarod musher Hugh Neff of Alaska, covers his dogs with straw at the Unalakleet, Alaska checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March, 13, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

Naomi Oxereok, 4 years old, has her T-shirt signed by Iditarod musher John Baker after he arrived at the White Mountain, Alaska, checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 14, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

Iditarod musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, Alaska, mushes along the Unalakleet River on her way into the Unalakleet checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 13, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

IIditarod musher Peter Kaiser, from Bethel, Alaska, races from Safety to the Nome, Alaska finish line of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 15, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

The aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky above the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 9, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

Musher Dallas Seavey of Willow, Alaska, drives his dog team near the Granite Tors Trailhead in this view from the cab of a broken down dump truck during the 2011 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, near the Two Rivers checkpoint in Fairbanks, Alaska. Seavey won the 1,000-mile race from Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, to Fairbanks, Alaska, just after midnight on Wednesday, Feb. 16. (John Wagner/Associated Press/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner) #

Iditarod musher Ellen Halverson rubs pink ointment, made by the Iditarod vets, onto her sled dog's feet at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 10, 2011. Halverson is from Wasilla, Alaska. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

A dog rests by a tent after the overnight bivouac at the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne, January 29, 2011. Each year racers from all over Europe come to the village of Destne in the Orlicke mountains in the Czech Republic to take part in this race series. (Petr Josek/Reuters) #

Iditarod musher Peter Kaiser, from Bethel, Alaska, races from Safety to the Nome, Alaska finish line of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race March 15, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

German musher, Tom Andres, competes in the 18-km second stage of the Pirena Advance 2011 sled dog race in Pena Telera in the Pyrenees mountains of northern Spain, February 7, 2011. The two-week race crosses the Pyrenees from west to east, ending at the ski resort of La Molina. (Joseba Etxaburu/Reuters) #

Germany's Christa Sauerhofer competes on the second day of the Dog Sleigh racing World championships in Slovakia's Donovaly resort, February 12, 2011. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images) #

Tok, Alaska, musher Hugh Neff smiles while answering questions from the media upon being the first musher to reach the Dawson City, Yukon, Canada checkpoint during the 2011 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, Feb. 8, 2011. Four ounces of Yukon placer gold is a reward for arriving at the Quest's midway point first. (John Wagner/Associated Press/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner) #

Dogs from Keith Bryar's team from Moultonboro, N.H., drive along the trail in the open class during the 82nd running of the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Race, February 12, 2011 in Laconia, N.H. (Jim Cole/Associated Press) #

A participant and his dogs compete during an international dog sled race near the village of Duboshi, some 25 miles northwest of Minsk, January 29, 2011. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Siberian Husky looks through a grate inside a kennel during the 11th annual WyColo Mid-distance Classic Sled Dog Race, January 15, 2010, in Medicine Bow National Forest near WyColo, Wyoming. (Andy Carpenean/Associated Press/Laramie Boomerang) #

Jessica Lowthorp is greeted by a Siberian Husky during the 11th annual WyColo Mid-distance Classic Sled Dog Race, January 15, 2011, in Medicine Bow National Forest near Wycolo, Wyo. (Andy Carpenean/Associated Press/Laramie Boomerang) #

Willow, Alaska Iditarod musher Karin Hendrickson's swing dog Aberdeen and leader Chase keep an eye on things at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 9, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Assoiated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

Dogs rest after one stage of the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne, Czech Republic, January 28, 2011. (Petr David Josek/Associated Press) #

Ontario musher Hank DeBruin looks over his dog team upon completing the 2011 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, February 18, 2011, in Fairbanks, Alaska. (John Wagner/Associated Press/The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner) #

A dog waits to be harnessed during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally on the shores of Loch Morlich, Scotland, January 20, 2011. The rally participants include over 1000 dogs and 200 mushers. (Russell Cheyne/Reuters) #

Spanish musher Alvaro Lopez Cobo guides his dogs during the sixth stage of the Pirena Advance 2011 sled dog race in Val d'Aran, in the Pyrenees mountains of northern Spain, February 10, 2011. (Joseba Etxaburu/Reuters) #

A Siberian Husky lies on the snow at the end of one stage of the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne, Czech Republic, Jan. 28, 2011. (Petr David Josek/Associated Press) #

A musher rides his dog sled during the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne January 29, 2011. (Petr Josek/Reuters) #

France's Thomas Caillibot competes with his dogs on the second day of the Dog Sleigh racing World championships in Slovakia's Donovaly resort, February 12,2011. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images) #

Dogs greet a participant during an international dog sled race in Duboshi about 25 miles northwest of the Belarus capital Minsk, January 29, 2011. (Viktor Drachev/AFP/Getty Images) #

An injured dog sits in a sled at the arrival of the tenth stage of La Grande Odyssee sled dog race in Bessans January 17, 2011. The race crosses the Alps in France and Switzerland covering over 621 miles over 11 days. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) #

Iditarod musher Peter Kaiser's leaders Sweeper and Frosty are ready to hit the trail as the musher arranges his dog team before leaving the Nikola, Alaska, checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 8, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

Austria's Joachim Buzek competes on the second day of the Dog Sleigh racing World championships in Slovakia's Donovaly resort on February 12, 2011. (Joe Klamar/AFP/Getty Images) #

Iditarod musher Hans Gatt from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory washes out his dog food trays next to the hot water barrel at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 9, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

A dog waits at the Polar Base before the start of the tenth and final stage of La Grande Odyssee sled dog race in the early morning at Mont Cenis, January 19, 2011. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) #

Italian musher Germano De Martin inspects one of his dogs at the Polar Base at Mont-Cenis road after the eighth stage of La Grande Odysee sled dog race in Lanslebourg, January 15, 2011. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) #

Snowmachines belonging to the Iditarod trail breakers sit in front of Old St. Joseph's Church in Nome, Alaska near the finish line of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, March 16, 2011. (Bob Hallinen/Associated Press/The Anchorage Daily News) #

A musher and his dogs climb the track during the tenth stage of the La Grande Odyssee sled dog race near L'Ecote, January 17, 2011. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) #

Mushers and their dogs speed down for the mass start of the tenth stage of the La Grande Odyssee sled dog race in Bessans, January 17, 2011. The race crosses the Alps in France and Switzerland. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) #

Mushers and their dogs pass through the village of L'Ecot during the 10th stage of La Grande Odysee sled dog race, January 17, 2011. (Denis Balibouse/Reuters) #

A musher takes care of his dog after completing a stage of the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne, January 28, 2011. (Petr Josek/Reuters) #

Mushers and their dogs climb the Mont-Cenis road during the eighth stage of La Grande Odysee sled dog race in Lanslebourg, January 15, 2011. (Denis BalibouseReuters) #



 
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