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Thousands of people gathered to watch the ceremonial start of the Iditarod race in Anchorage, Alaska Saturday.
66 racers are competing in the 41st annual dog sled race, including a local man from a Chicago suburb.
“My biggest goal is just to finish it. I’m not looking to compete whatsoever,” Charley Bejna, a race rookie musher from Addison told the Chicago Tribune.Bejna said he hopes someday to move permanently to Alaska. For now, he spends his winters in Alaska training his dogs, and his summers back in Illinois where he runs a landscaping business.
Each team is competing with 12 to 16 dogs. The race restarts Sunday morning, and crosses nearly 1,000 miles across Alaska to the finish line on the Bering Sea Coast.
The winner will receive $50,400, part of a total race purse of $600,000, and a new truck.