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Iditarod rookie Martin Massicotte was the first musher out of Willow during the 2020 restart. The 2021 restart will be held at Deshka Landing. (Bill Roth / ADN archive)
Iditarod rookie Martin Massicotte was the first musher out of Willow during the 2020 restart. The 2021 restart will be held at Deshka Landing. (Bill Roth / ADN archive) - Willow Lake, Alaska
Sled dog teams will start and finish the 2021 Iditarod at Deshka Landing

Iditarod mushers will begin and end the 2021 race at Deshka Landing near Willow Lake, race officials announced Tuesday.

The change is part of the COVID-19 mitigation plan for the 49th annual sled dog race across Alaska, plans for which are moving forward amid a global pandemic.

The usual fanfare — and fans — will be missing from the scene.

“At this point, there will be very limited spectator opportunities outside of the secure area where only race essential personnel and participants will be allowed,” race officials said in a statement.

The Iditarod has never ended anywhere other than Nome, which has seen 48 champions cross under the famous burled arch that marks the finish line on Front Street.

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