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Iron Dog 2014 Teams Take the Field in Big Lake

By Chris Klint, Senior Digital Producer, cklint@ktuu.com
Published On: Feb 16 2014 11:53:38 AM AKST
Updated On: Feb 16 2014 01:00:15 PM AKST

Iron Dog officials spoke with some of the first teams to arrive Sunday in Skwentna, the race's first checkpoint 89 miles after the starting gate in Big Lake.

ANCHORAGE -

The 2014 Iron Dog snowmachine race got off to a roaring start Sunday, with dozens of riders departing Big Lake and girding themselves for a high-speed, 2,000-mile contest over the next week.

An Iron Dog roster of 38 Professional Class teams are taking the trail from Big Lake to Fairbanks, with a midway stop on Alaska’s western coast in Nome. First out of the gate were two Ski-Doo teams -- Team 22’s Robert Gardner and Andrew Milley, followed by Team 10’s Mike Morgan and Chris Olds on Polaris sleds.

The race’s 2012 and 2013 champions, Marc McKenna and Dusty VanMeter, weren’t far behind the frontrunners, starting eighth on Ski-Doo sleds. Four-time race champion Todd Palin, whose last win was in 2007, was set to start 23rd with Tyler Huntington in Team 11; the two are riding Ski-Doo sleds.

The race's field of 10 Trail Class teams have already begun their shorter race to Nome, with two scratching at the starting line in Big Lake. Race standing Sunday morning show Team 45 leading Teams 63 and 75, the first elements of the pack to check out of McGrath at 8:30 a.m.

This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.