The world's most famous sled dog race, the Iditarod, kicks off Saturday with an 11-mile-long trot through Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. The race consists of a grueling 1,000-mile trek through unpredictable wilderness to the old gold rush town of Nome on Alaska's western coast. Whoever reaches Nome first wins a new truck and a cash prize of $50,400. The rest of the $600,000 purse will be split between the next 29 mushers to cross the finish line. The iconic race, however, seems to be about more than a monetary prize for most involved: a competition of human versus wild.
Here's a gallery of pictures looking back at more than 30 years of "The Last Great Race."