ANCHORAGE – The restart of the Last Great Race will take place in Willow as usual this year.


Iditarod Trail Committee officials made the announcement early Monday afternoon. Unusually warm winter temperatures and poor trail conditions prompted race organizers to consider moving the official March 2 restart from Willow to Fairbanks, which would have pushed back the restart to March 3.


The Iditarod logistics coordinator and a trail committee member flew over the trail Sunday to get a look at it from a helicopter. Conditions have improved slightly in the past week, they said, but lack of snow is still a concern.


Stan Hooley, Iditarod executive director, said the groomer will have to fix about 60 miles of the trail up to Skwentna. Then it will be up to another crew to fix the troubled spots along the way.


Seventy mushers are currently signed up for the 1,000-mile race, according to the Iditarod website.


This is a developing story. 


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