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Wagging tails and smiling faces were plentiful in downtown Anchorage as fans got to interact with the real stars of the Iditarod – the sled dogs.The ceremonial start in Anchorage went forward despite a lack of snow in Alaska's largest city this winter. Snow even had to be shipped this week to Anchorage from Fairbanks for the event. I want to get parking, I want to be in on the action, I want to meet all the mushers, I got to take pictures, I got to wish them luck," said Zoellick.She is a Chicago native who visited Anchorage for the ceremonial start in 2012 .The ceremonial start usually covers an 11-mile (17.7-kilometer) route, going along city streets and trails from downtown Anchorage to the east side of the city.The competitive race, which spans nearly 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers), starts Sunday in Willow, about 50 miles (80.46 kilometers) north of Anchorage.
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