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N.D. native preparing for sled dog race

BISMARCK -- A former North Dakota man is preparing to run his second Iditarod sled dog race.

Kelly Maixner is a native of Golva in southwestern North Dakota. He is a pediatric dentist in Big Lake, Alaska.

The Iditarod is held in Alaska each year. It starts March 3 and will run for 1,131 miles.

The 36-year-old Maixner ran his first race last year and finished 30th among a group of 62 mushers.

His 16-dog team is mostly 1- and 2-year-old dogs. Maixner told The Bismarck Tribune that most dogs don't reach their prime until they're 5 years old.

He said his dogs are still the equivalent of high school athletes, and they'll get better with age and experience.