Sprawl and Climate Change Force Sled Race to Evolve

<p>The infamous 1,100-mile Iditarod sled dog race course has been adjusted due to urban sprawl moving into the traditional course route.</p>
January 11, 2008, 1pm PST | Nate Berg
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"Citing rapid urban growth and a warming climate, officials with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race said Wednesday they were implementing permanent logistical changes that in recent years have become the norm for the March event."

"The March 1 ceremonial start in Anchorage will run 11 miles, seven miles shorter than the traditional route. The actual competitive start of the 1,100-mile race the following day will move 30 miles north to Willow from the historical site in Wasilla, Iditarod headquarters and part of the state's fastest-growing region."

"'A lot of development in the area makes it less desirable, and there have been less-than-winter conditions,' said Stan Hooley, executive director of the Iditarod Trail Committee. 'It just doesn't make sense to us to make choices that are not in the best interest of both the two- and four-legged competitors.'"

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Published on Friday, January 11, 2008 in The Seattle Times
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