The competitive part of world's most famous sled dog race, the Iditarod, starts Sunday in Willow, Alaska, 50 miles north of Anchorage. The race teams leave the big crowds behind for remote terrain shared mostly with their dogs on a grueling 1,000-mile trek through unpredictable wilderness to the old gold rush town of Nome. Whoever reaches Nome first wins a new truck and $50,400. The next 29 mushers to cross the finish line will split rest of the $600,000 purse.

Here's a gallery of pictures spanning more than 30 years of "The Last Great Race."

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