SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Urban Iditarod hit the hilly streets of San Francisco over the weekend and featured 150 humans dressed like dogs and pulling shopping carts.
Saturday's event, held annually since 1994, is modeled after the more famous race across frozen tundra, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska.
''Why dress like a dog and run around the streets?'' some bemused onlookers may ask.
''The goal is to dress up and have fun,'' said Matthew Smith, 28, of Saratoga. Smith ran this year's race wearing neon-pink angel wings.
Winning the race is not a primary concern.
''Come in first? You don't want to come in first because then you have to drink a lot,'' Smith said. Rest stops at the city's many watering holes have become part of the odd race routine.
The real Iditarod began March 2, with mushers and their dogs braving subzero temperatures as they trek across 1,150 miles of Alaskan tundra.
San Francisco's busy, tourist filled streets are often no less hazardous, but the event's organizer, C.J. ''Alpha Dog'' DeSoda, says the Urban Iditarod simply an opportunity to turn a few heads.
''We're not trying to cause chaos or destruction, just add some local color and watch some tourists' jaws drop,'' DeSoda said.
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