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ANADYR, March 29 (Itar-Tass) — A Nadezhda (hope)-2012 dog-sled race will start on the Chukotka Peninsula on April 9, with 26 dog-team drivers, or mushers, participating, Pavel Dyachkov, Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Sports and Tourism of the Chukotka Autonomous Area, has told Itar-Tass.
This year the itinerary of the dog-sled race will change again. The racers are to cover about 670 km within ten days. The route will meander from Lavrenty Settlement to Lorino Village, then to the ethnic village of Yanrakynnot, turn to Novoye (new) Chaplino Village in Tkachen Bay and up to Township Provideniye (Providence), retrace its way back to New Champlino, Yanrakynnot, Lorino, and Lavrenty. Then it will proceed to Uelen, Russia's easternmost settlement on Cape Dezhnev, turn to Inchoun Settement and get to the finish in Lavrenty Village on April 19.
The winners of dog-sled races of the past years -- Gennady Tomilov, Mikhal Telpin, and Pyotr Poyatirgin -- will also take part in this year's race. Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom, who took part in last year's race, is also expected to join the company.
Unique Chukotka sled-drawing dogs, or huskies, are equal participants in the race. They can draw heavily laden sledges all day long, sleep on the snow and find the way home in the heaviest of blizzards. The thoroughbred dogs render obedience to the musher who must take care of his dog team. The rules for the race stipulate, "No action or inaction causing pain and suffering to the dogs is inadmissible". Disqualification may ensue for that.
The races "in the endmost lands of the earth" were first held in 1991. Initially, they were intercontinental, running from the Alaskan city of Nome to Chukotla's Anadyr. However, since 1993, the dog-sled race itinerary has been running only inside the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Area.