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Race route changed due to weather
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska Weather is again the culprit behind a last-minute decision to move the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race farther north.

Race officials today said that because of a lack of a solid snow base, the March sixth restart will be held in Willow, an occasional alternative to Wasilla.

A spokesman says there's plenty of snow for the race in the interior.

Today's ceremonial start is still set for Anchorage, but will be limited to 11 miles instead of a 20-mile run to Eagle River.

Conditions may be less than ideal, but they're nowhere near the dismal shape they were for the 2003 race, when the official start was moved about 300 miles north to Fairbanks.

Mushers are being notified about this year's plan. The detour will shave about 65 miles from the 11-hundred-mile course.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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