The 41st Iditarod Trail sled dog race officially started in Willow, Alaska, Sunday.

On Saturday, mushers took part in a ceremonial start in Anchorage, Alaska, which is 80 kilometres south of Willow.


Lead dogs on the team of Louie Ambrose run during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail sled dog race Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. The competitive portion of the nearly 1,800-kilometre race is scheduled to begin Sunday in Willow, Alaska. (Dan Joling/AP Photo)

Sunday, 66 mushers started racing roughly 1,800 kilometres to Nome, which is on Alaska’s west coast.

Tagish Lake, Yukon, musher Michelle Phillips said she's very pleased with her team and she's confident they can handle anything, including the weather on the trail.

"Typically, it seems that the Iditarod is warmer here at the start. Of course, the weather changes all the time at the start, so I don't really focus on that. Because it's been warm for quite a while in the Yukon, the dogs have really adjusted to the warm weather so it'll be fine," she said.

Phillips placed 16th in a field of more than 60 mushers last year. This year she hopes to make it into the top 10.

Gerry Wilomitzer is the only other Yukoner registered. He withdrew from last year's Iditarod, saying his dogs weren't enjoying the race.

The winner gets $50,000 and a new truck.