Twenty-five of the 41 Iditarods ever contested have been won by just six people, but this year, dynasty could very well give way to destiny.
Given the reports of bare ground, open water and down-right sketchy trail, ultimate victory will go to the most prepared team across the board.
"On a hard trail like this, you want a dog team that can finish regardless of the trail conditions. I think we're proving that this year we're bringing dogs that have never been dropped from a race before."
Each of the top 13 and 18 of last year's 20 fastest teams are back from last year Aaron Burmeister threatened for the 2013 title before sliding to 11th.
"It's a very solid core group of dogs the last two years, they're young, coming into their prime, 4-6 years old," he said.
Jake Berkowitz is a fast emerging musher earning his 1st top 10 a year ago.
"Last year our goal was top 10 and getting the humanitarian award, we accomplished that, we don't really have anything else to go for except winning the race with a healthy dog team," Berkowitz said.
He'll have company from two generations and both genders the age range of last year's top 10, included mushers in their 20s and drivers in their 5th decade of participation.
As for the conditions, ironically, the dogs are often fine on tough trail, it's the mushers and sleds who suffer, but the Iditarod record holder doesn't appear fazed.
"No I haven't. I did beef up the sled a little bit but other than that nothing special," Baker said.
"i've done this enough times to know that if the team shows up that i've trained and that i've seen we will do just fine."
"been doing a lot of weird stuff, unusual trail conditions, but the dogs have raced quite a bit, have become victorious and are ready to rumble."
"if something i can't control happens, dogs get sick or something like that then i'll just have to deal with that when that happens."
Adaptability...perhaps the best trait...any competitor can have....in the last great race.