ANCHORAGE, Alaska (January 15, 2013)--Unseasonably warm weather in parts of Alaska is forcing the cancellation of qualifying races for future rookies of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and complicating training for mushers already signed up for the 1,000-mile trek to Nome.
But Iditarod officials say there's still plenty of snow along much of the route and say there's no need to worry about drastic changes to the race, which will start March 2 with a ceremonial run in Anchorage.
The competition begins the following day in Willow, 50 miles to the north.
Race marshal Mark Nordman said it's too soon to plan for a repeat of 2003, when the restart was moved more than 300 miles north to Fairbanks because of too much open water in rivers and creeks that cross the route.
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