Anchorage, Willow will host Iditarod starts despite low snow

Willow musher Lisbet Norris prepares for the 2015 Iditarod ceremonial start. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes, KSKA - Anchorage)
Willow musher Lisbet Norris prepares for the 2015 Iditarod ceremonial start. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes, KSKA – Anchorage)

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Organizers have decided that a lack of snow in the Anchorage area won’t force a route change for this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The decision was made Friday by the race board of directors.

The start of the race will be staged as usual in Willow, about 50 miles north of Anchorage. The board had considered moving it further north over the Alaska Range to Fairbanks for the second straight year.

The race is scheduled to start March 6.

The race’s top officer, Stan Hooley, says there is not much snow in Willow, but it dramatically improves after leaving town.

Hooley is more worried about having enough snow in Anchorage for the fan-friendly ceremonial start on March 5. A decision on that issue will be made in the coming weeks.

Anchorage is hovering near a record low snowfall for the second straight year.