PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, March 9 (RIA Novosti) – The Iditarod may be the best known dog sled race, but there are others, like the Beringia Sled Dog Race, which starts Saturday on the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia.
The annual Beringia race, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1991 and in 1992 as the longest mushing trail in the world, will cover a distance of 970 kilometers (601 miles) this year, from the village of Esso to the village of Ossora.
The race involves 15 teams of 9-14 dogs racing across the frozen Russian tundra in temperatures as low as minus 25 Celsius (minus 13 Fahrenheit).
The 17-stage trail has been prepared by snow-machines and marked with flags and signs. Mushers will be able to rest at checkpoints either in small hotels or in heated tents along the route.
The Beringia race first took place in 1990. Its length varies every year. The Guinness record-setting races in 1991 and 1992 covered distances of 1,980 kilometers (1,230 miles) and 2,044 kilometers (1,270 miles), respectively.
In comparison, the length of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska is officially set at 1,688 km (1,049 miles).