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Brent Sass drives his team along the beach just outside of Nome on March 18, 2020, as he finishes the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in fourth place. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Brent Sass drives his team along the beach just outside of Nome on March 18, 2020, as he finishes the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in fourth place. (Marc Lester / ADN) - Unalakleet, Alaska
As the race winds down, Iditarod mushers return to real-world problems

For 11 days now, Iditarod mushers have been traveling across Alaska while the rest of the country copes with increasing levels of pandemic-response lockdown.

The information that reaches teams on the trail can be unreliable — or, in this case, so surreal as to seem unreliable, particularly when a musher’s world is reduced to trails and checkpoints, booties and meat.

As this year’s race comes to an end, mushers find themselves facing a very different reality from the one they left behind.

“On the trail, we’re kind of in the dark," fifth-place Aaron Burmeister said upon his arrival in Nome, where he grew up. "We don’t have iPhones or email or internet or newspapers.

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