Former Champion Takes Early Lead In Iditarod - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Former Champion Takes Early Lead In Iditarod

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A four-time champion has taken the early lead in the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
    
Martin Buser, who last won in 2002, was the first to reach the checkpoint at Rainy Pass, arriving at 5:42 a.m. Monday. In second is Kelly Maixner, who left the previous checkpoint at Finger Lake 30 miles to the southeast at 2:49 a.m., followed 11 minutes later by Nicolas Petit.
    
Sixty-nine mushers began the race to Nome on Alaska's Western coast Sunday afternoon in Willow. An 11-mile noncompetitive, ceremonial start took place in Anchorage Saturday.
    
The jockeying for the lead remains fluid until mushers begin taking a mandatory 24-hour layover and two eight-hour rests.
    
The race normally takes about 10 days, but warm weather this winter in Alaska has prompted concerns about the trail.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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