Part 2, Days 1-7 Summary

"The Race—Day 1"

The Iditarod begins in Anchorage. The first time Paulsen participates in this incredibly arduous undertaking, he pulls the thirty-second spot, right in the middle of the seventy-team race. Paulsen's team of fifteen dogs are insane with anticipation as they wait for thirty-one teams to be sent out before them. Finally, they are on their way, only to have to repeat the process again a short time later: the start from Anchorage is a sham, staged for publicity. In reality, a freeway blocks the route to Nome; thirty miles out of town, the dogs are stopped and taken in trucks to Settler's Bay, where the race truly begins.

By the time Paulsen's team leaves the second starting...

(The entire section is 776 words.)