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AP PHOTOS: Teams drive toward Iditarod finish line

Monday - 3/10/2014, 10:32am  ET

Trix, a team dog for Iditarod musher John Baker, from Kotzebue, AK, keeps an eye on the musher at the Unalakleet checkpoint at sunrise during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen)
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The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Mushers and their dogs are chipping away at the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as volunteers and city crews prepare for the coming onslaught of dog teams and spectators at the finish line in Nome.

The racers have a series of checkpoints to hit before they're expected to begin reaching the old gold rush town no later than Tuesday. With snowfall light this winter, Nome has been stockpiling snow, which was moved to the final stretch.

As front-runners -- including Aliy Zirkle who's looking become only the third woman to win the race -- aim to keep their edge, others have retired.

At least 16 mushers have scratched, leaving 53 teams on the trail. The race began March 2 in Willow with 69 teams.

The first to reach Nome receives $50,000 and a new truck. The 29 teams after that win cash prizes decreasing on a sliding scale. All other teams finishing the race receive $1,049.

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