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Iditarod: Toughest Race On Earth

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- Mushers and their sled dog teams face 1,150 miles of unforgiving Alaskan wilderness along the Iditarod Trail in the ultimate test of teamwork and endurance -

Through dense forests, over mountain ranges and across frozen rivers and isolated tundra in the wilds of Alaska - Discovery Channel was there to chronicle one of the most demanding competitions in the world though the eyes of the men and women who dared to take on the monumental challenge. Premiering every Tuesday at 2100 hrs (9:00 pm SIN/HK) from January 6,TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH: IDITAROD follows mushers and their sled dog teams across 1,150 miles of rugged terrain as they take on Mother Nature - and each other - in The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Encores on Wednesday at midnight (12:00 am), 0800 hrs (8:00 am) and 1400 hrs (2:00 pm); Saturday at 2000 hrs (8:00 pm); and Sunday at 1100 hrs (11:00 am).

The grueling competition from Anchorage to Nome puts the teams through the ultimate test of human and animal teamwork and endurance. Mushers prepare all year to ready not only themselves but also their team of 16 sled dogs - elite athletes in their own right. It is said that no animal on earth covers as much ground as fast as an Iditarod sled dog. But the harsh environment and extreme concentration can take its toll on the teams, no matter how hard they may have trained. Of the 96 dog mushers who started the 2008 Iditarod competition, only 78 completed the race.

For TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH: IDITAROD, Discovery Channel followed seven mushers and their dog teams - both race rookies and race legends. Some are hoping to win while others are just hoping to finish. To scratch - or drop out of the competition - would be devastating for any musher who has put everything on the line for a chance to compete, including personal finances.

Mushers featured in TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH: IDITAROD include: Four-time Iditarod winner and record-holder Martin Buser, Iditarod rookie Rick Holt, pioneering musher
and breast cancer survivor DeeDee Jonrowe, "Winningest Musher in the World" Jeff King, two-time racer and diabetic Bruce Linton, two-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey, and race rookie Darin Nelson (please see "Musher Guide" for more details about the mushers).

The Iditarod Trail is steeped in history. It was originally used as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps and eventually all the way to Nome. Mail and supplies went in and gold came out - all by dog sleds. Mushers became legends. In 1925, part of the trail became a life-saving highway. Mushers and their dog teams were called upon to bring serum to epidemic-stricken Nome and save the town from diphtheria that had overtaken it. The Iditarod is a commemoration of those brave and legendary mushers and their faithful dogs.

TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH: IDITAROD is produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions. Thom Beers and Phillip Segal are executive producers and Jeff Conroy is co-executive producer. For Discovery Channel, Paul Gasek and Tim Pastore are executive producers.