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LINCOLN — Flanking both sides of the roped off starting area, the bundled-up crowd waited as their breath formed white clouds above them in the minus 15 degree temperatures. The bootied paws of the dog team pounded and scratched the snow as they tugged against the ganglines. A brief silence fell before the musher yelled, “Gee!” and the 12 dogs lunged forward in unison, pulling the sled and musher off the line to mark the start of the 34th annual Race to the Sky at Hi-Country Snack Foods in Lincoln.

  • 2 min to read

Not only do the mushers of the Race to the Sky battle each other, but they battle the sometimes inhospitable elements they race in. Conditions for this year's race have been cold with temperatures well below zero at night and this means care for the dogs is paramount. The intimacy of the teams' relationship is on full display as the mushers and handlers go to extreme lengths to ensure the comfort and performance of their canine athletes. 

SEELEY LAKE — Sleeping bags and cots lined the walls of the Seeley Lake Community Hall. Tables sat in the center of the room for participants and volunteers to eat, mingle and warm up with some coffee or hot chocolate.