Alaska's 1,000-mile sled race; The Last Great Race, by Tim Jones. Seattle: Madrona Publishers (2116 Western Avenue, 98121). 266 pp. $14.95.

And you probably thought the word ''mush'' was all it took to get a dog sled moving. In Alaska's annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race from Anchorage to Nome, it also takes tons of dog food, months of training, and enough sweat to start a small glacier.

The Iditarod is a grueling test of man and dog: 1,049-plus miles of snowy trails which wind through dangerous mountain passes, across frozen rivers, and over wind-wiped tundra. So far no one has ever made it in less than 12 days, and sometimes the last finalist comes in 12 days after the winner.

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Author Tim Jones offers a fascinating glimpse of this race and the attitudes and competition behind it. My only complaint is that he followed the race at checkpoints; the story would have held more immediacy had Jones actually experienced the trail.

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