By MARK THIESSEN
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Fans, dogs and mushers have returned in droves to downtown Anchorage in the midst of a snowstorm for Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race’s ceremonial start. The event was canceled last year during the pandemic. This year, fans attending the 50th running of the race were limited in their interactions with participants but could still watch from behind fences as mushers left the starting line two minutes apart. Mushers on Saturday took a leisurely jaunt through Alaska’s largest city, waving at fans. The competitive race for mushers and their dogs starts Sunday in Willow, about 75 miles north of Anchorage. The winner is expected about nine days later in Nome.