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WASILLA -- Fifty mushers signed up for Iditarod 2001, with a famous name at the head of the pack.
Two-time Junior Iditarod champion Ryan Redington camped at race headquarters since Wednesday in order to be the first to enter when registration opened Saturday. Redington, who lives just a few miles away from the Iditarod Headquarters, is the son of Iditarod veteran Raymie Redington and grandson of the late Iditarod founder Joe Redington.
``It (the Iditarod Trails Sled Dog Race) was something I always wanted to do,'' said Redington, who turns 18 later this week. ``I'm very excited. I've wanted to do it since I've seen it.''
Six Iditarod champions are among those who will participate in next year's 1,100-mile race from Anchorage to Nome, including reigning three-time champion Doug Swingley of Lincoln, Mont.; five-time champion Rick Swenson of Two Rivers; three-time champions Jeff King of Denali Park and Martin Buser of Big Lake and past champions Rick Mackey and Gerald Riley of Nenana.
Thirteen rookies also signed up for the race.
Entry fees will be accepted until midnight, Dec. 1, 2000. The race begins in Anchorage on Saturday, March 3, 2001.