You wouldn’t think Anchorage could be short of snow in the winter, but it happened again this year at the start of the famed Iditarod sled dog race.

The contest kicked off on Sunday with 81 mushers headed toward Nome for a nine-day ultimate winter endurance race, only there was barely enough snow to get out of town. 

The weather was so warm once again this year that limited snow pack affected the start. Race organizers shipped in a train load of snow to create a path for mushers leaving Anchorage. 

Insiders are following Dallas Seavey who won three out of the past four races along with Scott Jannsen, an Anchorage mortician known as the Mushing Mortician.

Racers and their dog teams will travel over two mountain ranges, the Yukon river and bare the winds along the Bering Sea as they make their way to the finish line in Nome on the western coast. 

Abnormally warm weather has brought just one snowfall to Anchorage in February, making it the fourth warmest February on record for the city. Last year the snowfall was even worse, prompting officials to move the race start to Fairbanks. 

© Stephanie Wolden | Dreamstime.com – Mush dogs