The 49th running of the Iditarod Sled Dog race kicked off March 7 with limited fan participation and an alternate route aimed at addressing COVID concerns.

Both the start and finish of the Last Great Race take place at Deshka Landing, located approximately 7.5 road miles from Willow Lake. The location serves as a year-round access point to the Lower Susitna Drainage consisting of the Susitna River, Deshka River, Yentna River, Alexander Creek and all tributaries. According to the Iditarod website, there was “very limited spectator opportunities” outside of the secure area where only race essential personnel were allowed.

Race fans can follow the contest at and via Iditarod’s partner broadcast media outlet, KTUU. This year’s race is a shorter route – only 860 miles rather than the traditional 1,000.

For more information about the race visit

Shortened Iditarod with few in-person fans kicked off March 7

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.