2021 Iditarod start and finish moved to Deshka Landing

A  man waves his arms
A checker welcoming Thomas Waerner to the Rainy Pass checkpoint on Monday, March 9, 2020, during the 2020 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Rainy Pass is about 150 miles into the 1,000-mile sled dog race. (Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

The Iditarod Trail Committee has announced the restart and finish line of the 2021 race will be Deshka Landing.

The announcement was made Tuesday afternoon. Deshka Landing is a little more than 7 miles from Willow Lake, the normal restart point for the Iditarod. This year, the Willow Community Center, which serves as a hub of activity for the restart, is under construction.

Race officials believe Deshka Landing will allow the race to operate smoothly and safely at start and finish.

Unlike most years, where hundreds pack the sides of the starting chute in Willow, and line Front Street in Nome, Iditarod officials say only essential personnel and race participants will be allowed near the start and finish lines.

Fifty-five teams are registered to take place in this year’s shorter Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The 860-mile course will set off from Willow, follow the traditional southern race route through Iditarod, then turn around in the former mining town of Flat before returning to Willow.

The official restart of the 2021 Iditarod will be Sunday, March 7.

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