WASILLA (AP) -- The Iditarod Trail Committee is taking bids again from people who want to ride with mushers at the start of the race from Anchorage to Nome.
Idit-a-riders get to do the first 11 miles of the 1,100-mile trail. The ride takes them through Anchorage and the crowds of spectators who annually gather to cheer the teams' departure.
About 80 mushers are expected to compete in this year's event. Each will carry an Idit-a-rider.
Bidding for seats in the sleds starts at $500 but getting a ride with a big-name musher like Doug Swingley, Rick Swenson, Martin Buser or Jeff King will cost a whole lot more.
Riders with fat pocketbooks will be able to buy their way straight to success. People can lock down a seat this year with a check for $7,500, Iditarod officials said.
Those with locked bids can select anyone on the mushers' list who already hasn't been chosen, organizers said.
The 2001 Iditarod starts March 3.
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