ANCHORAGE -

While not even a hundred mushers will race the Iditarod this year, almost 1,800 volunteers take part of it. The race is headquartered at the Millenium Hotel in Anchorage. On Sunday morning, a group of volunteers met in the lobby to work the checkpoints on the trail.

Beverly Andersson came up this year for her 23rd time as a volunteers. She planned to check mushers in and out at the White Mountain checkpoint. She first decided to volunteer after a vacation to Alaska and has made it a yearly tradition since.

Inside the hotel, volunteers keep race statistcs, work on communication and answer a hotline for anyone interested in details on the race. The Iditarod has a website where people can follow mushers, but for those without internet or those looking for quick answers, they can call 248-MUSH.

Mike Devitt has volunteered for 20 years. He's worked checkpoints and with dropped dogs, but this year, he's answering phone calls. He said it's the stars of the race that always attracted him.

"I just enjoy the dogs and the mushers, like old friends you see every year, the whole Iditarod is like a family of people," he said.

Threse Dougherty is working the phones for her first year. She's from southern California and said the race exceeded her expectations. She met some mushers at the musher's banquet. She said they're a lot nicer than celebrities she's met in California.

"There are just a lot of neat people, you know, and the dogs are okay too," she said.