ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The official Web site for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was virtually frozen part of Tuesday by an unusually heavy rush of hits by Internet surfers, Iditarod officials said.
''We're having to find a way meet increased demand, which seems to be three times what it was last year,'' said Stan Hooley, executive director of the Iditarod Trail Committee.
It was much more than that.
In a period of about 24 hours from Monday into Tuesday, the Web site had about 9.23 million hits compared with 1.2 million for the same time period last year, said David Morris, a spokesman for telecommunications provider GCI.
''It's a little bit of an increase in traffic to say the least which is a good thing for the Iditarod and Alaska,'' he said. ''But it certainly does tax the technical abilities at times to keep up with it.''
GCI did some network configurations Tuesday to accommodate the traffic loads, and the situation was believed to be stable by late afternoon, he said.
''This race is becoming more and more popular worldwide and we're seeing it through this traffic,'' Hooley said.
The 1,100-mile dog sled race to Nome began on Sunday from Willow, after a ceremonial start the day before in Anchorage.
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