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The 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

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Later today, the leaders of the 2012 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will depart White Mountain for a 77-mile sprint to Nome, Alaska, the final leg of the 975-mile event called "The Last Great Race on Earth". Dallas Seavey, 25, is currently in the lead, poised to become the youngest Iditarod winner ever. An hour behind is Aliy Zirkle, who, if she can catch Seavey, would become the third woman to win the race (the first was Libby Riddles in 1985.) Sixty-six mushers started the race in Anchorage back on March 4, eight have scratched from the race so far, and one has withdrawn because of injuries. The winner will receive a prize of $50,400 and a new truck, with a total purse of $550,000 to be shared by the first 30 finishers. [Updated with photos of this year's winner, Dallas Seavey.] [39 photos]

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Dallas Seavey pulls in to the checkpoint in Unalakleet, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester)
Dallas Seavey pulls in to the checkpoint in Unalakleet, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester)
Jeff King waves at race fans on 4th Avenue during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod trail sled dog race in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
The lead dogs of Norway's Silvia Furtwangler head down a snowy wooded portion of trail during the ceremonial start of the 40th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in downtown Anchorage, on March 3, 2012. (Reuters/Wayde Carroll) #
Veterinarian Scott Rosenbloom takes a look at Karin Hendrickson's dog team at the pre-race vet check at Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska, on February 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Mark Lester) #
The dog team of Justin Savidis of Willow watches as their owner approaches just before the official re-start of the 40th Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Willow, Alaska, on March 4, 2012. (Reuters/Wayde Carroll) #
A sled dog barks near its team as mushers prepare to leave during the official start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 4, 2012, in Willow, Alaska. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth) #
Kristy Berington greets fans as she makes her way through the trail during the official start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 4, 2012, in Willow, Alaska. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth) #
Two-year-old Skylar Dupuis, from Eagle River, Alaska, watches the ceremonial start of the Iditarod, in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 3, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bob Hallinen) #
A leader in Pat Moon's dog team tugs at its harness during the official start of the Iditarod in Willow, Alaska, on March 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Bill Roth) #
Brent Sass of Fairbanks, Alaska, takes his team towards Nome at the official re-start of the 40th Iditarod in Willow, Alaska March 4, 2012. (Reuters/Wayde Carroll) #
Two mushers cross the Farewell Burn during the Iditarod, on March 6, 2012, in Nikolai, Alaska. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
DeeDee Jonrowe leaves the checkpoint in Nikolai, Alaska, during the Iditarod, on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
The remote checkpoint at Cripple had just a few teams for a while Thursday afternoon during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 8, 2012. Dallas and Mitch Seavey's teams are parked at bottom left. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Musher Scott Janssen puts down straw for his team in Nikolai, Alaska, on Tuesday night, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Bill Pinkham collects hot water during his stop in Takotna, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Wolvie and Roscoe stir as Karen Ramstead prepares to feed them in Nikolai, Alaska, during the Iditarod, on March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Karin Hendrickson embraces her team leader Hatchet in Takotna, Alaska, during the Iditarod, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
A musher makes the run between the Ophir and Cripple checkpoints on Thursday, March 8, 2012. Snowmachine tracks swirl near the trail. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Toby, a leader for Nicolas Petit, rests in the straw during the Iditarod, on March 6, 2012, in Nikolai, Alaska. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Dallas Seavey tends to his team and gear after arriving at the Cripple checkpoint during the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, on March 8, 2012. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Musher Ramey Smith departs the checkpoint at Koyuk, Alaska on Monday, March 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
A team competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race heads into the Finger Lake checkpoint on March 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Art Church sits down for a rest at the checkpoint in Nikolai, Alaska, on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Matt Failor prepares to leave the Skwentna, Alaska, checkpoint of the Iditarod, on March 5, 2012. Failor was the last racer to depart the checkpoint. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Identical twins Anna (left) and Kristy Berington walk Stormy and Blue in Takotna, Alaska, during the Iditarod, on March 8, 2012. Both women are competing in the race. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
DeeDee Jonrowe heads down the Yukon River after leaving the Ruby checkpoint of the Iditarod, on March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Iditarod communications volunteers Angie Taggart (standing) and Keri Koger update the race standings in Nikolai, Alaska, on March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser prepares his team to leave the checkpoint in Nikolai, Alaska, on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Aaron Burmeister approaches Unalakleet, Alaska, during the 2012 Iditarod, on March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Musher Aliy Zirkle arrives in Unalakleet, Alaska, on Sunday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
An aurora borealis swirls in the sky over the Yukon River village of Ruby, Alaska, a checkpoint of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Dogs are transported on a sled behind a snowmachine in Unalakleet, Alaska, during the Iditarod, on March 11, 2012. The dogs were part of a caravan that brought four-time champion Jeff King back to Unalakleet after he scratched. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Mitch Seavey drives off the Yukon River and into the Kaltag checkpoint on Saturday, March 10, 2012, in Kaltag, Alaska. Seavey was the winner of the 2004 Iditarod, and is the father of the current race leader Dallas Seavey. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Dallas Seavey puts on his parka as he leaves Unalakleet, Alaska, on Sunday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Peter Kaiser drives his team into the checkpoint in Unalakleet, Alaska on Sunday, March 11, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Dallas Seavey drives toward Elim, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, on March 12, 2012. (AP Photo/Anchorage Daily News, Marc Lester) #
Dallas Seavey reaches the finish line to claim victory in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska, on March 13, 2012. Seavey is the youngest musher to win the nearly 1,000-mile race across Alaska. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Aliy Zirkle laughs at the finish line of the Iditarod in Nome, Alaska, on March 13, 2012. Zirkle placed second. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #
Dallas Seavey holds his leaders, Diesel, left, and Guinness after he arrived at the finish line to claim victory in the 2012 Iditarod in Nome, Alaska, on March 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Marc Lester, Anchorage Daily News) #

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