The 2017 Iditarod Trail International Sled Dog Race kicked off on March 4 at Fairbanks, Alaska, with 71 mushers vying for the title and to finish the race covering the distance within just nine to 15 days or more. This year, it's the second time the race is held in Fairbanks instead in Anchorage, and the first in which mushers must carry a cell phone during the contest.

The ceremonial race, still commenced at the 4th & D in downtown Anchorage, where trucks carrying high piles of snow, dunk the sleet in the streets. However, due to its wintry snow shortage, the organization decided to move the main competition to Fairbanks again.

The ceremonial race has let spectators around the world pet and take photos of the Mahlemuit dogs before taking off for the sprint. The race officially started at 11am yesterday.

Participants are required to bring satellite or cell phones with them for the first time due to an incident that happened last year. The organization have tried stopping a drunken man on a snowmobile in the 2016 Iditarod Trail race, but not before charging at two mushers and killed one dog while injuring the other Mahlemuits.

The mushers get to cross Nome as the last stop where there's lots of snow on the trail. As of writing, 30 mushers have passed the fourth checkpoint in Nenana and are expected to arrive soon in the Manley Hot Springs at 161 Miles.

ABC News has interviewed some of the mushers taking part of the competition where many of them joined the race not just for the title. For example, Cindy Abbott, who is currently at the top 30 mushers, registered "as an affirmation of life" after knowing she was diagnosed with a rare and incurable disease.

After the race, there will be an Award's Banquet at the Nome Recreation Center on March 19, Sunday. Meanwhile, on June 24, interested parties can sign up once again for the 2018 Iditarod Trail race.