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2 Iditarod mushers scratch in Shaktoolik, race officials say

By KTVA CBS 11 News 4:03 PM March 16, 2017

Two Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race mushers scratched in Shaktoolik on Thursday, according to the Iditarod Trail Committee.

In a statement, ITC spokeswoman Bri Kelly said veteran Iditarod musher Monica Zappa, wearing bib 58, scratched at 3:30 a.m.

According to Kelly, the Kasilof-based musher decided to leave the race for “the best interest of her team.”

“Zappa noted that her race team did not wish to continue on the sea ice trail,” Kelly added.

Roger Lee, rookie musher from England who wore bib 10, scratched at 12:30 p.m. in Shaktoolik, according to Kelly.

“Lee made the decision to scratch while traveling between Unalakleet and Shaktoolik in best interest of his race team,” she wrote.

Kelly said both Zappa and Lee had nine dogs harnessed when they scratched.

A total of eight mushers have scratched in this year’s race so far, including rookie musher Otto Balogh, who left the race prior to the restart in Fairbanks due to personal health concerns, according to a statement on the race’s website.

More than half of this year’s mushers have crossed the finish line in Nome following Mitch Seavey’s record-setting win.

KTVA is the official station of the Iditarod. Follow our coverage on TwitterFacebook and online

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