FAIRBANKS - A record-number 76 mushers have signed up for the 2004 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race as registration opened Saturday for the 1,100-mile race from Anchorage to Nome.
The field includes four former Iditarod champions with a total of 16 wins and seven former Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race champions.
Five-time champion Rick Swenson of Two Rivers heads up the field that also includes four-time champion Doug Swingley, four-time winner Martin Buser and three-time champion Jeff King of Denali Park.
King also is one of the seven former Quest champions who registered on Saturday. The others are Ramy Brooks of Healy, Bill Cotter of Nenana, Vern Halter of Willow, Charlie Boulding of Manley, Aliy Zirkle of Two Rivers and Sonny Lindner of Fairbanks.
All mushers entered in the 2004 race who were present at Iditarod headquarters in Wasilla at 5 p.m. Saturday, participated in three random drawings.
Peryll Kyzer of Willow won the use of a full-size Dodge truck courtesy of Anchorage Chrysler Dodge. David Britz of Willow and Paul Pettyjohn of Wasilla each won free entry into the race.
In other business Saturday, John Handeland of Nome and Swenson were re-elected to three-year terms on the board of directors. Dan Seavey of Seward was re-elected to a one-year term as the mushers' representative and Mark Moderow of Eagle River was newly elected to the board and will serve a three-year term.
Entries for the 32nd Iditarod will be accepted until midnight Dec. 1. The race will start at 10 a.m. on March 6 in downtown Anchorage.
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