When people are asked to picture a race across an icy and snow-filled tundra, many picture dog sled races. Those in the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska, however, use a bicycle or skis, or walk. The annual event began its 20th competition March 1st with competitors starting out their 1,000-mile course. Most racers complete the course in 2-4 weeks depending on their chosen method of travel. 26 start out the race, but many drop out due to frostbite, exhaustion, and respiratory infections. One competitor reported that when he took off his beanie, a piece of his ear came off with it.