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Mushers from around the world set off on Alaska's famed Iditarod sled-dog race to Nome in sub zero temperatures on an alternative never-before-used route from Fairbanks that could lend a new level of unpredictability to the contest.

A dog from Mitch Seavey's team barks on the line as they are staged before the official start of the 2015 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Mark Meyer/Reuters

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In this aerial photo, dog teams line up in the staging area before the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Loren Holmes/AP

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Dallas Seavey gets ready to start the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Loren Holmes/AP

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Musher Scott Janssen gives high-fives to race fans during the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Loren Holmes/AP

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A dog from Matt Failor's team kisses handler Michael Baker before the official start of the 2015 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Mark Meyer/Reuters

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A musher makes their way down the Tanana River between Fairbanks and Nenan, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Loren Holmes/AP

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Rohn Buser's lead dogs charge down Broadmoor Avenue during the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Monday, in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Loren Holmes/AP

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Dogs from Zoya DeNure's team tear down the embankment leading to the Chena River for the official start of the 2015 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Mark Meyer/REUTERS

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Jason Campeau's team heads out on snow covered frozen Chena River during the official start of the 2015 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Mark Meyer/Reuters

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Dogs in Cindy Abbott's team poke their heads out of their trailer in the early morning hours before the start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Loren Holmes/AP

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