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The 2011 Iditarod Sled Dog Race

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On Tuesday, March 15th, musher John Baker crossed the finish line in Nome, Alaska, to win the 2011 Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Baker won in record time, becoming the first native Alaskan champion since 1976. Dog sledding season is now winding down, but over the past few months dozens of races have taken place across the northern hemisphere from Spain to Alaska, including La Grande Odyssee, Finnmarkslopet, and Yukon Quest. Gathered here are some highlights from many of these races, including the Iditarod, where 14 teams are still on the course, nearing the end of their 1,150-mile journey. [34 photos]

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Iditarod musher Peter Kaiser from Bethel, Alaska, races from Safety to Nome, Alaska as the sun sets to finish line of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen)
Iditarod musher Peter Kaiser from Bethel, Alaska, races from Safety to Nome, Alaska as the sun sets to finish line of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen)
A dog waits to be harnessed during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally on the shores of Loch Morlich, in Scotland January 20, 2011. The rally which involves over 1000 dogs and 200 mushers took place on Saturday, January 22nd. (REUTERS/Russell Cheyne) #
Kris Hoffman of Steam Boat Springs, Colorado leaves the start line during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday March 5, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska. The actual start took place the following day in Willow, north of Anchorage. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
A musher in the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race crosses the Taiga Forest between the Skwentna and Finger Lake checkpoints with Mount Foraker, left, and Denali in the background on Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News) #
Mushers and their dogs climb the Mont-Cenis road during the eighth stage of La Grande Odyssee sled dog race in Lanslebourg January 15, 2011. The race crosses the Alps in France and Switzerland covering over 1000 km (621 miles) over 11 days. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) #
Iditarod musher Hugh Neff of Alaska, covers his dogs with straw at the Unalakleet, Alaska checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday, March, 13, 2011. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
A musher arrives with his dogs after one stage of the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne, Czech Republic, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky above the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
Iditarod musher Karin Hendrickson's swing dog Aberdeen and leader Chase keep an eye on things at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday, afternoon March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
John Baker, from Kotzebue, Alaska, leaves the the village of Golovin during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
Germany's Christa Sauerhofer competes on the second day of the Dog Sleigh racing World championships in Slovakia's Donovaly resort on February 12, 2011. (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images) #
Naomi Oxereok, 4 years old, has her T-shirt signed by Iditarod musher John Baker after he arrived at the White Mountain, Alaska, checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/BOB HALLINEN/Anchorage Daily News) #
An Iditarod musher's team moves along the trail to the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday afternoon March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
Swiss musher Pierre-Antoine Heritier and his dogs speed down the track during the mass start of the tenth stage of the La Grande Odyssee sled dog race in Bessans January 17, 2011. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) #
Doug Butler of Bristol, Vermont, drives his dog team during the open class of the Laconia World Championship Sled Dog Race Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, in Laconia, New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Jim Cole) #
Iditarod musher Sven Haltmann from Fairbanks visits with sled dogs Discus and Molson at the Rainy Pass checkpoint on Monday March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News) #
Mushers leave the overnight bivouac for the last stage of the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne January 29, 2011. Each year racers from all over Europe arrive to the village of Destne in Orlicke mountains in Czech Republic to take part in this race series. (REUTERS/Petr Josek) #
Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit from Girdwood, Alaska puts the collar back on team dog Daffy after he slipped out of it at the Nikolai checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, afternoon March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/BOB HALLINEN - Anchorage Daily News) #
Iditarod musher Ellen Halverson rubs pink ointment, made by the Iditarod vets, onto her sled dog's feet at the Takotna checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Thursday, night March 10, 2011. Halverson is from Wasilla, Alaska. (AP Photo/BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News) #
A husky dog waits for preparations to get underway for the 28th annual Aviemore Husky Sled Dog Rally on January 20, 2011 in Aviemore, Scotland. Over 1,000 dogs will take part in the biggest event in the Husky dog calendar with teams coming from as far as the Isle of Wight and Devon for one of the most challenging and prestigious races. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #
Husky dogs wait for preparations to get underway for the 28th annual Aviemore Husky Sled Dog Rally on January 20, 2011 in Aviemore, Scotland. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) #
German musher Tom Andres competes in the 18-km second stage of the Pirena Advance 2011 sled dog race in the Pena Telera in the Pyrenees mountains of northern Spain, February 7, 2011. The two-week race crosses the Pyrenees from west to east, ending in the ski resort of La Molina. (REUTERS/Joseba Etxaburu) #
Mike Williams Jr. looks to park his team as he arrives at the Nikolai, Alaska checkpoint on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
One of musher Mike Williams Jr.'s dogs howls in the sunshine at the Takotna, Alaska checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday afternoon March 9, 2011. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
Nils Hahn's lead dogs turn his team onto Cordova Street from Fourth Avenue during day one of the 2011 Fur Rondy World Championship Sled Dog Races Friday afternoon Feb. 25, 2011 in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Erik Hill - Anchorage Daily News) #
A dog on Whitehorse, Yukon, musher Hans Gatt's team peers through holes in Gatt's mushing truck in Willow, Alaska, on Sunday, March 6, 2011 before the restart of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (AP Photo/Mark Thiesse1) #
Steam rises off musher Allen Moore from Two Rivers, Alaska, as he laughs while conducting a media interview after finishing sixth in the 2011 Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in Fairbanks, Alaska on Feb. 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, John Wagner) #
A musher arrives with his dogs at Mont-Cenis road during the eighth stage of La Grande Odyssee sled dog race in Lanslebourg January 15, 2011. The race crosses the Alps in France and Switzerland covering over 1000 km (621 miles) over 11 days. The picture was taken with a long exposure. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) #
Photographer Denis Balibouse, from Switzerland, files his pictures under a full moon sky from Mont-Cenis Pass Road in Lanslebourg during the Grande Odyssee sled dogs race January 19, 2011. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) #
Aurora borealis, or northern lights, fill the sky over Finnmark during the 1000 km (621 miles) long Finnmarkslopet, world's northernmost sled dog race, taking place in Finnmark county, northern Norway, March 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Tore Meek/Scanpix) #
A Siberian Husky lies on the snow at the end of one stage of the Sedivackuv Long dog sled race in Destne, Czech Republic, Friday, Jan. 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
Two sled dogs jump simultaneously after being hooked up to race during the 11th annual WyColo Mid-distance Classic Sled Dog Race Saturday Jan. 15, 2011 in Medicine Bow National Forest near WyColo, Wyoming. (AP Photo/Laramie Boomerang, Andy Carpenean) #
Musher John Baker of Kotzebue, Alaska sits at the finish line with one of his lead dogs after winning the Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska March 15, 2011. Baker won the storied Iditarod Sled Dog Race on Tuesday in record time, becoming the first Alaska Native champion since 1976. (REUTERS/Al Grillo) #
Iditarod musher Peter Kaiser, from Bethel, Alaska, races from Safety to the Nome, Alaska finish line of the 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #

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