Great Iditarod Pictures!

Joyce G. of Alaska and her family won a close-up view of this year's Iditarod Dog Sled Race in a drop-in sweepstakes. Here's how she did it.

"I was in Sears to enter the Jeopardy/Wheel of Fortune drawing, and while I was there they announced a contest going for Sears,'' she said. The top prize was a chance to ride the first eight miles of the famous Iditarod and meet the racers, including well-known musher Martin Buser.

"So I entered the three of us and my son. ... I figured if I won, I would give the prize to (husband) Bob or (daughter) Tara. I KNEW they would have been thrilled. I didn't even look at the prize list or think about it anymore."

A few days later, Joyce's son, Ron, called to say he won! The prize included three nights at a Hilton Hotel, just in time for Joyce's birthday.

``That's the first contest I have entered him in for a long time," Joyce said. "The really funny part about this is I grabbed the entry blanks because I had to go to bathroom. I thought I had three, but I had four, so I thought, 'Why not?'"

The race, which began in 1925, is held in March and starts in Anchorage, Alaska. It takes racers from eight to 10 days to reach the finish line in Nome, Alaska. This year's route was 1,151 miles. These pictures include shots of Buser, and female dog sledder Dee Dee Jonrowe.

This dog made headlines as the most photographed of the race.
Looks like the other dog is trying to break this one out!

Joyce's son Ron bundling up!

Dogs with booties on to protect their feet!

Sledding team heading to the starting point on Front Street in Anchorage.

Ron and Iditarod racer Martin Buser

Ron and musher Martin Buser -- look at Ron's grin!

Martin Buser at starting point.

Martin Buser's team getting ready to go.

Female musher Dee Dee Jonrowe starting out on 4th Avenue. On March 15 she was No. 1
Jonrowe finished 10th, and Jeff King won the race.

Son Ron, his wife, May, and their son, 15-year-old Jeff. One of Buser's kids, also.

Joyce's daughter Tara with Buser.

Looks like he is yowling either, "I want to go!" or "NO!"

Another Picture of Tara and Buser

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