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Low snow causes havoc again with Iditarod sled dog race

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WASILLA, Alaska Another low-snow year in Alaska is playing havoc with the world’s most famous sled dog race.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race always begins with a ceremonial jaunt a day before the start of the competitive portion.

A lack of snow last year north of Anchorage forced the race from the normal start. This year the problem is in Anchorage.

“Our real challenge right now is trying to figure out whether we’ve got adequate snow to make Anchorage and the ceremonial start happen,” Iditarod Chief Executive Officer Stan Hooley told The Associated Press.

This will be the 44th edition of the sled dog race to Nome.

Luis Ingram, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said there is no significant snow in the seven-day forecast, and confidence isn’t high for any after that.

Anchorage set a record for low snow totals last year at 25.1 inches (63.7 centimetres).

The snow in other race areas is the best it’s been in 15 or 20 years, Hooley said.

This year’s race has drawn the third-largest field ever, with 86 mushers.

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