FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - More than two dozen mushers and their packs of dogs began the long, frigid race through Alaska's wilderness, aiming to be the first to reach the finish line in Whitehorse in Canada's northern Yukon Territory.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the dog teams started the 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race on Saturday morning in downtown Fairbanks.

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Newcomer Tim Pappas led the pack out of the city for the 35th running after drawing bib No.1 on Thursday.

The first section of the race takes the teams along the Chena River for several miles until the trail diverges to the northeast to reach the Two Rivers Checkpoint.

The race lasts until last team crosses the finish line, which typically takes between 10 and 16 days.

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