BETHEL, Alaska (AP) – The route of a sled dog race in Southwest Alaska has been altered due to warm weather and open water.

KYUK-AM reports that the Kuskokwim 300 Sled Dog Race will run two laps to its halfway point and back on Friday.

The race committee decided to change the route Sunday night – on an evening of 36-degree weather and rain in Bethel.

Race officials say this is the first time the race has had to change its route, which traditionally runs 300 miles across the Kuskokwim River from Bethel to Aniak and back.

Race chairman Myron Angstman says he’s urging officials to come up with a trail that doesn’t cross the river for the future.

Local mushers agree the change is the safest way to run the race.

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