On March 2, 66 mushers behind teams of yapping, energetic dogs rolled down Fourth Avenue in Anchorage, Alaska, culminating years of preparation, trial and error, defeat and victory. Saturday was for show, but on Sunday, real racing began on a frozen lake in tiny Willow, Alaska, one of the state's unofficial dog-mushing capitals about 70 miles north of the state’s largest city. Defending champion Dallas Seavey, at 25 the youngest winner in Iditarod history, was the 48th to leave.
Nine days later, it was Dallas Seavey's father who crossed the finish line in Nome before any other racers, becoming the oldest musher to win the Last Great Race. A half-hour later, Aliy Zirkle arrived in one of the closest races in recent memory. It was her second year in a row as runner-up despite a fevered push at the end of the race that threatened to be a photo finish to the Burled Arch.
This year's Iditarod field included three four-time champions: Martin Buser, Jeff King and Lance Mackey. But it was missing the only five-time winner, Rick Swenson, who pulled out just weeks before the start.
Here are our best photos and videos of the 2013 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.