Coined "The Last Great Race on Earth," the 2014 Iditarod competition is well underway. Spanning over a thousand miles of the roughest terrain in the world, the 42nd-annual dog sled race showcases the impressive skills, determination, and teamwork of man and man's best friend. Over a span of two weeks, mushers and their teams of up to 16 dogs must traverse jagged mountain ranges, frozen rivers, and the dense forests of Alaska. The race has become a tradition honoring a 1925 rescue mission that carried diphtheria serum by dog sled to the coastal community of Nome, which is still the competition's final destination. While this year's warmer-than-average temperatures and low levels of snowfall have made for an unpredictable race, what is guaranteed is remarkable photos of the competitors going up against the Alaskan tundra. See our roundup of mushers and their canines mixing business and pleasure.
Here, Kristy Berington's dogs cool off with their tongues out during the official restart of the Iditarod dog sled race in Willow, Alaska on March 2.