The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Alaska, where mushers and teams of typically 16 dogs cover 1,161 miles (1,868 km) in one to fifteen days
from Willow (near Anchorage) to Nome. The race begins on the first Saturday in March. The Iditarod began in 1973 as an event to test the best
sled dog mushers and teams, evolving into the highly competitive race it is today. The current fastest winning time record was set in 2002 by
Martin Buser with a time of 8 days, 22 hours, 46 minutes, and 2 seconds.
The race is the most popular sporting event in Alaska, and the top mushers and their teams of dogs are local celebrities; this popularity is
credited with the resurgence of recreational mushing in the state since the 1970s. While the yearly field of more than fifty mushers and about
a thousand dogs is still largely Alaskan, competitors from fourteen countries have completed the event including the Swiss Martin Buser, who
became the first international winner in 1992.