The 2008 Iditarod race begins. Returning champion Lance Mackey already has a hitch in his plan. Iditarod icon DeeDee Jonrowe loses her dog team outside a checkpoint. The mushers prepare to face the dreaded Alaska Range.
The mushers cross the treacherous Alaska Range. Jonrowe faces "the Step", where she was injured last year. Injury also causes Mackey's lead dog to be dropped. Martin Buser takes a strategic rest at Salmon River before beginning the treacherous trek again.
With the Alaska Range behind them, mushers turn their attention to rest--a strategy all its own. Mackey, already down a lead dog cares for his exhausted team. Jonrowe, nursing a virus, is first to the half-way mark, winning Yukon Gold, but at what price?
Mackey makes up for lost time while King devises a new plan. Eskimo Nelson debates whether to withdraw from the race. The Busers separate to allow former champion, Martin, a chance to go for the gold.
Mackey continues to break trail for rival King but is catching on to King's game. Rookie musher Holt, making a slew of beginner's mistakes, has to decide whether he can carry on or if he will succumb to the treacherous nature on the Iditarod Trail.
With Nome less than 100 miles away, Mackey, King, and Martin Buser battle for the finish line. Icon Jonrowe battles to stay in the top 10, and for rookie Holt, just finishing Alaska's toughest race means winning.