March 17 - 4 p.m.

Iditarod unveils 2018 purse spread

The Iditarod has announced the distribution figures for its $500,000 purse from the 2018 race, numbers which were still being worked out when Joar Leifseth Ulsom won The Last Great Race at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The top purse for Ulsom, $50,612, reflects a drop of nearly a third from 2017 when Mitch Seavey received $71,250 for his victory in the race. Both men received Dodge Ram pickup trucks, however.

The Iditarod has traditionally paid its top 20 finishers purse money, with the top 30 finishers in the money from 2000 through 2017.

Here’s the full list of the Iditarod’s top 20 mushers, as well as what they’ll receive for their places:

1st place (Joar Leifseth Ulsom): $50,612
2nd place (Nicolas Petit): $42,462
3rd place (Mitch Seavey): $39,112
4th place (Ray Redington Jr.) $35,162
5th place (Peter Kaiser): $32,262
6th place (Richie Diehl): $27,412
7th place (Jessie Holmes): $25,812
8th place (Ramey Smyth): $24,262
9th place (Travis Beals): $22,762
10th place (Linwood Fiedler): $21,312
11th place (Matt Hall): $19,912
12th place (Aaron Burmeister): $18,612
13th place (Matthew Failor): $17,312
14th place (Ketil Reitan): $16,112
15th place (Aliy Zirkle): $14,912
16th place (Jessie Royer): $13,762
17th place (Kelly Maixner): $12,662
18th place (Mats Pettersson): $11,662
19th place (Michelle Phillips): $10,662
20th place (Lars Monsen): $9,662

Racers from 21st through 52nd place, a swath of mushers ranging from Hugh Neff to Red Lantern winner Magnus Kalterborn, will receive a $1,049 check for finishing the race.

For a final list of standings, click here.

_____

March 17 - 12 p.m.

Kaltenborn claims 2018 Red Lantern

The final musher of this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has reached Nome, earning the Canadian veteran a special prize.

Magnus Kaltenborn, from Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and wearing Bib 6, reached the Burled Arch at 11:13 a.m. Saturday with 13 dogs according to race standings.

His team’s time of 12 days, 20 hours, 13 minutes and 14 seconds means Kaltenborn will receive this year’s Red Lantern, traditionally given to the final musher to reach Nome.

Kaltenborn’s arrival, as the last of 11 mushers to reach Nome as Scott Janssen and Jim Lanier were medevaced after an emergency between White Mountain and Safety, means all of the race’s mushers are off the Iditarod trail.

A total of 13 mushers have scratched from this year's trail, with two more -- Steve Watkins and Tara Cicatello -- withdrawn by race officials because they were no longer competitive.

The Red Lantern sets the stage for an awards banquet at the Nome Recreation Center on Sunday night.

For a final list of standings, click here.

_____

March 16 - 2 p.m.

Janssen helps Lanier in home-stretch rescue

Veteran mushers Scott Janssen and Jim Lanier have been medvaced to Nome after Lanier ran into trouble outside White Mountain. 

According to a Facebook post by Anna Bondarenko, Lanier's wife, he got off the Iditarod trail and started heading towards the open ocean between White Mountain and Safety. Lanier left White Mountain at 11:17 p.m. Thursday.

Janssen left White Mountain early Friday morning. A post on his "Mushin' Mortician" Facebook page said that he quit the race to offer assistance, although his team was "flying" after its 1:37 a.m. departure.

"Then he came upon his friend, Jim Lanier, whose team was stuck and Jim was starting to freeze," the post read. "He stayed with his friend until they were rescued and he chose to accompany his friend to Nome to make sure he was safe, but that meant scratching from the race."

Both mushers are currently in Nome receiving medical treatment.

The Iditarod confirmed that both men had scratched from the race Friday afternoon, in a statement from race marshal Mark Nordman.

"At approximately 7 a.m. this morning, the Iditarod Trail Committee was alerted that mushers Jim Lanier and Scott Janssen had requested emergency assistance due to weather conditions near an area between the checkpoints of White Mountain and Safety known as ‘the Blowhole’,” Nordman said. “A search and rescue team was immediately notified and then a plan was put in place to safely extract both dog teams and both mushers. Both race teams are currently being mushed to Nome."

Nordman said Janssen and Lanier were in "good health" when he met them at the airport.

"I’d like to thank the local Nome SAR, as well as Mike Owens," Nordman said. "I’d also like to thank Iditarod finisher Jessie Royer, who was at Safety this morning at the time of the notification. I asked her to go out for a welfare check and she was able to transport Jim and Scott back to the Safety checkpoint by snowmachine.”

As of 2 p.m. Friday, 41 of 52 mushers have reached Nome, the most recent among them Lev Shvarts at 1:12 p.m.

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 15 - 10:36 p.m.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • 27 - Rick Casillo (Bib #9) - Out of Safety at 7:16 p.m. with 10 dogs
  • 28 - Martin Buser (Bib #28) - Out of Safety at 8:48 p.m. with 12 dogs
  • 29 - Cody Strathe (Bib #2) - Out of Safety at 9:45 p.m. with 9 dogs
  • 30 - Andrew Nolan (Bib #56) - Out of Safety at 10:14 p.m. with 11 dogs
  • 31 - Noah Pereira (Bib #49) - Out of White Mountain at 5:00 p.m. with 10 dogs 

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 15 - 7:50 p.m.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • 25 - Michael Williams Jr. (Bib #27) - Out of Safety at 3:52 p.m. with 9 dogs
  • 26 - Katherine Keith (Bib #51) - Out of Safety at 5:18 p.m. with 8 dogs
  • 27 - Rick Casillo (Bib #9) - Out of Safety at 7:16 p.m. with 10 dogs
  • 28 - Martin Buser (Bib #28) - Out of White Mountain at 1:22 p.m. with 12 dogs
  • 29 - Cody Strathe (Bib #2) - Out of White Mountain at 3:16 p.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 15 - 4:42 p.m.

Mushers keep running into Nome

Anna Berington, rookie Michi Konno and veteran Jeff King have each made it to Nome. 

Michael Williams Jr. is expected to be the next musher to reach the Burled Arch. 

Here's a look at the latest standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • 22 - Anna Berington (Bib #4) - FIN - In to Nome at 12:44:20 p.m. with 10 dogs
  • 23 - Michi Konno (Bib #63) - FIN - In to Nome at 3:35:02 p.m. with 8 dogs
  • 24 - Jeff King (Bib #40) - FIN - In to Nome at 4:36:32 p.m. with 12 dogs
  • 25 - Michael Williams Jr. (Bib #27) - Out of Safety at 3:52 p.m. with 9 dogs
  • 26 - Katherine Keith (Bib #51) - Out of White Mountain at 9:34 a.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

March 15 - 2:34 p.m.

Canadian musher Fressineau scratches at Shaktoolik

Marcelle Fressineau, of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, scratched Thursday afternoon around 2 at the Shaktoolik checkpoint. 

Fressineau had departed for Koyuk but turned around after deciding it was in the best interest of her team. She had 12 dogs in harness when she made the decision to scratch. 

Fressineau made headlines earlier in the race for confronting a bison on the trail with an ax. 

RELATED: Iditarod musher scares off bison along trail with ax 

_____

March 15 - 1:20 p.m.

Eischens scratches at Koyuk checkpoint

Veteran musher Alan Eischens (bib #53) is the tenth musher to scratch from this year's race.

Race officials say on Thursday morning, the Wasilla musher made the decision to pull from the race at the Koyuk checkpoint "due to an injury sustained to his arm."

According to Eischens' "Double E Kennel" Facebook page, his injury was caused when his sled crashed during a bad storm.

 
User: Double E Kennel To: link


"Alan had a bad crash in a ice berg during a whiteout and broke his hand, along with a runner on the sled," the Facebook post read. "He is currently in Koyuk and will be flying to Nome in the next day or so."

The bib 53 musher told race officials his decision was based on his ability to care for his team, which is his number one priority.

Eischens had 14 dogs in harness when he made the decision to scratch.

_____

March 15 - 11:40 a.m.

Dropped dog dies at Koyuk checkpoint

The first dog death of the Iditarod was announced Thursday after officials say one musher's teammate died on the race to Nome.

At approximately 12:15 a.m., veteran musher Katherine Keith (bib #51) lost her teammate "Blondie", a 5-year-old male, at the Koyuk checkpoint.

Keith dropped Blondie off at the checkpoint earlier in the day on Wednesday. The dog was being treated by a veterinarian for signs of pneumonia.

A gross necropsy will be conducted by a board-certified veterinary pathologist.

Keith is currently en route to the Safety checkpoint.

_____

March 15 - 9:00 a.m.

Mushers continue to reach the Burled Arch

It's day 10 of Iditarod 46. Since 8 p.m. Wednesday, nine more sled dog teams have reached the final checkpoint in Nome.

Here's a look those standings, according to Iditarod.com.

  • 13. Matthew Failor (bib #55) - FIN - In to Nome at 8:53 p.m. with 11 dogs
  • 14. Ketil Reitan (bib #54) - FIN - In to Nome at 8:54 p.m. with 9 dogs
  • 15. Aliy Zirkle (bib #31) - FIN - In to Nome at 9:42 p.m. with 10 dogs
  • 16. Jessie Royer (bib #36) - FIN - In to Nome at 10:59 p.m. with 9 dogs
  • 17. Kelly Maixner (bib #52) - FIN - In to Nome at 11:34 p.m. with 10 dogs
  • 18. Mats Pettersson (bib #3) - FIN - In to Nome at 1:55 a.m. with 11 dogs
  • 19. Michelle Phillips (bib #18) - FIN - In to Nome at 2:36 a.m. with 12 dogs
  • 20. Lars Monsen (bib #61) - FIN - In to Nome at 2:38 a.m. with 9 dogs
  • 21. Hugh Neff (bib #68) - FIN - In to Nome at 8:56 a.m. with 9 dogs

This was Zirkle's first time in seven years where she did not place in the top 10. However, she says the scenery makes the 1000-mile journey worth it every time. 

"You start down in Anchorage, around these, like, you know, these 30 story buildings. And then you go up through the Alaska Range Mountains and you can see Denali and all of that... Yukon River out to the Western Coast. I mean it's truly an Alaskan adventure. Yea it's a race, but if you want to go on one of the coolest, and chilliest, adventures in the world, in March someday, then Iditarod is it," Zirkle said.

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 14 - 9 p.m.

Cooke scratches after overnighting near Kaltag

Canadian musher Rob Cooke has left the Iditarod trail at the Kaltag checkpoint, with some help from locals.

Officials said Cooke, a resident of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory who has worn bib 10 during this year's race, had 12 dogs in harness when he scratched at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

"Cooke had left the Kaltag checkpoint just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13, overnighted at the Tripod Flats cabin and then decided, in the best interest of his race team, to scratch," Iditarod officials wrote. "Cooke did activate his tracking device for a non-emergency welfare check."

Iditarod officials said Wednesday night that the cabin where Cooke stayed, about 35 miles past Kaltag, is a common overnight spot for mushers. There wasn't any indication that Cooke or his team had been in distress.

Race standings had shown Cooke in 57th place among the Iditarod's 59 mushers still on the trail or in Nome Wednesday evening. He becomes the race's ninth musher to scratch.

As of 9 p.m. a dozen mushers have made it to Nome, the most recent of them Matt Hall and Aaron Burmeister at 6:36 p.m. and 7:29 p.m.

Hall may be an Iditarod rookie, but he and his team are no newbies when it comes to long-distance racing. This team won the 2017 Yukon Quest and placed runner-up to Allen Moore this year. His 11th-place finish in his first Iditarod, on a beautiful day in Nome, was a good learning experience.

"It was good, perfect. The run was a little shorter than I thought it was going to be," Hall said. "I was thinking I was going to be finishing after dark and a couple hours out as I got into Safety...10 miles...sooner than I thought, and here we are two hours earlier."

Mother Nature was not kind on the trail, however. Veteran musher Aaron Burmeister finished about an hour after Hall, with 11 young dogs just happy to complete the race.

"Anybody that finishes this race, it's been a challenge -- to be able to compete at the level we all have is incredible," Burmeister said. "Joar, Mitch, all the guys up front set a pace. We all were breaking trail through incredible storms, incredible weather: not just one storm or two storms in a big race, but it was a storm seven days in a row, pretty much on different stretches of trail, so it had challenges."

Wednesday, however, was all smiles when Burmeister entered his hometown's Front Street with 4-year-old daughter Kiana on his sled, and 9-year-old son Hunter and wife Mandy waiting under the Burled Arch.

"Not just Nome, but every village from Kaltag to Unalakleet, every village up the coast it's like being at home," Burmeister said. "Everybody comes out to see us and it really makes it all worthwhile."

Another nine mushers, including five past the Safety checkpoint, were out of White Mountain.

John Thompson contributed information to this story.

_____

March 14 - 5:40 p.m.

Top 10 finishers all in Nome

All of the Iditarod's top-10 field have reached Nome Wednesday afternoon, as mushers continue to trail in fresh from their final eight-hour layovers in White Mountain.

Race standings showed that since Richie Diehl's sixth-place arrival at 2:19 p.m., Jessie Holmes, Ramey Smyth, Travis Beals and Linwood Fiedler have all reached the Burled Arch. The four men arrived at 2:39 p.m., 3:10 p.m., 3:46 p.m. and 4:27 p.m. respectively; all of them had 10 dogs in harness except for Smyth, who had nine.

Diehl, a 32-year-old from Aniak, accomplished a great feat in his own right: a fifth straight Iditarod finish, improving to sixth place from 24th last year.

On Wednesday afternoon, Diehl said his dogs overachieved looking great. The weather wasn't so kind.

“There wasn't any specific part of the trail,” Diehl said. “It was just the snow and storms that never seemed to end, and made it for soft trail the whole way. It made it interesting, which is nice.”

The Iditarod's GPS tracker showed Matt Hall and Aaron Burmeister inbound past Safety early Wednesday evening. Another eight teams led by Matt Failor, Ketil Reitan and Aliy Zirkle are out of White Mountain en route to Safety, which promise to fill the Iditarod's top 20 spots after they finish the 77-mile trip to Nome.

For a full list of standings, click here.

John Thompson contributed information to this story.

_____

March 14 - 2:45 p.m.

Kaiser, Diehl reach Burled Arch

Mushers Peter Kaiser and Richie Diehl are in to Nome, securing fifth and sixth place respectively in The Last Great Race.

Race standings showed Kaiser reaching Nome at 1:09 p.m. with eight dogs in harness, followed by Diehl at 2:19 p.m. with 10 dogs.

By 2:45 p.m., the Iditarod's GPS tracker showed Ramey Smith, Jessie Holmes, Travis Beals and Linwood Fiedler all on the 22-mile home stretch between Safety and Nome, poised to round out the 2018 race's top 10 finishers.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - FIN - In to Nome at 3 a.m. with 8 dogs
  • Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - FIN - In to Nome at 5:15:03 a.m. with 10 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - FIN - In to Nome at 8:11 a.m. with 9 dogs
  • Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - FIN - In to Nome at 12:03 p.m. with 11 dogs
  • Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - FIN - In to Nome at 1:09 p.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 14 - 12:26 p.m.

Redington reaches Nome with Kaiser trailing behind

Ray Redington Jr. is the fourth musher to reach the Burled Arch in Nome on Wednesday. His official check in time is 12:03 p.m. with 11 dogs in harness.

The third-generation Iditarod musher wasn't alone on the race. His brothers were also on the trek to Nome. However, of the three Redingtons who raced this year, Ray was the only one to finish the 1000-mile race to Nome. Robert scratched in Shageluk while Ryan scratched in Kaltag for the best interests of their teams. 

Before this year, Ray's best finish was in 2013 when he placed fifth place.

According to the Iditarod.com GPS tracker Peter Kaiser is trailing by about 10 miles, followed by Richie Diehl who are both en route to Nome.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - FIN - In to Nome at 3 a.m. with 8 dogs
  • Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - FIN - In to Nome at 5:15:03 a.m. with 10 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - FIN - In to Nome at 8:11 a.m. with 9 dogs
  • Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - FIN - In to Nome at 12:03 p.m. with 11 dogs
  • Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Safety at 9:55 a.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 14 - 8:22 a.m.

Seavey finishes third in Last Great Race

Last year's Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey (bib #13) has officially made it to Nome. He mushed into the final checkpoint at 8:11 a.m. with 9 dogs in harness.

Seavey says he hasn't gone that slow on a dog team in 15 years. With the difficult trail conditions and deep snow, he said he had to remind himself to be OK with the slower speeds. 

"Some of these guys, I don't think, have seen snow that deep," Seavey said. "So, it was different. A little harder work, harder pulling for the dogs. The old dog on the back of the sled has to do a lot more work too so I noticed that."

It was also hard on his body and a lot more physical. He says last year, he just sat on the sled the whole way. This year was different.

The veteran musher has been mushing since 1963. This is his 25th Iditarod race -- three of them he was crowned Iditarod champion.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - FIN - In to Nome at 3 a.m. with 8 dogs
  • Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - FIN - In to Nome at 5:15:03 a.m. with 10 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - FIN - In to Nome at 8:11 a.m. with 9 dogs
  • Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - Out of White Mountain at 1:48 a.m. with 11 dogs
  • Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of White Mountain at 2:38 a.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 14 - 5:25 a.m.

Petit is second to finish Iditarod XLVI

Nic Petit has mushed his way to Nome, finishing second behind Willow's Joar Leifseth Ulsom. 

Petit's official finish time is 5:15:03 a.m. He had 10 dogs in harness when he crossed under the Burled Arch where Iditarod XLVI champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom welcomed him with a warm hug.

Meanwhile, defending champ Mitch Seavey has departed the Safety checkpoint, the final stop before Nome. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - FIN - In to Nome at 3 a.m. with 8 dogs
  • Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - FIN - In to Nome at 5:15:03 a.m. with 10 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Safety at 5:19 a.m. with 9 dogs
  • Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - Out of White Mountain at 1:48 a.m. with 11 dogs
  • Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of White Mountain at 2:38 a.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 14 - 3:33 a.m.

Petit departs Safety en route to Nome

Girdwood's Nicolas Petit is the second musher to depart the Safety checkpoint with sights on the finish line in Nome. 

Here's a look at current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - FIN - In to Nome at 3 a.m. with 8 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Safety at 3:06 a.m. with 10 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of White Mountain at 10:00 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - Out of White Mountain at 1:48 a.m. with 11 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of White Mountain at 2:38 a.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 14 - 3:04 a.m.

Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom wins 2018 Iditarod

Joar Ulsom and his dogs at the Burled Arch in Nome. (Credit: Jason Sear)

Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom has won his first Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The 31-year-old Willow resident pulled under the Burled Arch in Nome shortly around 3 a.m. Wednesday.

READ MORE: Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom wins 2018 Iditarod 

_____

March 14 - 1:03 a.m.

Front-runner Ulsom just 14 miles from finish line

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Mile 984 (of 998)
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Mile 959
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) Mile 944
  4. Matt Hall (Bib 15) - Resting in White Mountain (Mile 921)
  5. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - Resting in White Mountain (Mile 921) 

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 14 - 12:20 a.m.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Safety at 11:53 p.m. with 8 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of White Mountain at 7:34 p.m. with 10 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of White Mountain at 10:00 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - In to White Mountain at 5:48 p.m. with 11 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - In to White Mountain at 6:35 p.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 13 - 11:59 p.m.

Ulsom dashes into last checkpoint

Joar Leifseth Ulsom flew from White Mountain to Safety, 55 miles, in about eight hours, according to the GPS Tracker on Iditarod.com. 

Nicolas Petit left White Mountain at 7:34 with 10 dogs, and is about 25 miles behind Ulsom. 

In third, defending champ Mitch Seavey left White Mountain at 10 p.m. with 9 dogs.

Ray Redington Jr and Peter Kaiser, fourth and fifth, respectively, are completing their mandatory-eight in White Mountain. 

Safety is 22 miles from Nome and the Burled Arch-- or roughly about two-and-a-half hours in mushing time. 

If you want to watch the action LIVE, click here for details

Editor's Note: We will post Ulsom's official time as soon as it's posted on Iditarod.com. 

_____

March 13 - 9:30 p.m.

Ulsom less than 40 miles from Nome

Front-runner Joar Leifseth Ulsom is nearly to Safety, the last checkpoint between him and the famed Burled Arch. 

As of 9:30, Ulsom was 18 miles from Safety, the last checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail, along the coast of the Bering Sea, before mushers reach Nome. 

About 24 miles behind is Girdwood's Nic Petit, who left the White Mountain checkpoint 7:34 p.m.

_____

March 13 - 8:39 p.m.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom is 46 miles from the Burled Arch

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of White Mountain at 3:52 p.m with 10 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of  White Mountain at 7:34 p.m. with 10 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to White Mountain at 1:24 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - In to White Mountain at 5:48 p.m. with 11 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - In to White Mountain at 6:35 p.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 13 - 6:46 p.m.

Here's a look at current race standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of White Mountain at 3:52 p.m with 10 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to White Mountain at 11:22 a.m. with 11 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to White Mountain at 1:24 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - In to White Mountain at 5:48 p.m. with 11 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Elim at 10:53 a.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 13 - 4:51 p.m.

Ulsom departs White Mountain with Burled Arch in sights

Frontrunner Joar Leifseth Ulsom, who's called Alaska home since 2011, is the first musher of out White Mountain and his eyes are on the prize: the Burled Arch in Downtown Nome. 

Here's a look at current race standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of White Mountain at 3:52 p.m with 10 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to White Mountain at 11:22 a.m. with 11 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to White Mountain at 1:24 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - Out of Elim at 10:30 a.m. with 11 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Elim at 10:53 a.m. with 8 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

Second veteran musher scratches Tuesday

Moore left Braeburn with 14 dogs and a healthy lead. (Credit: YukonQuest.com0

Allen Moore is the second veteran musher to scratch Tuesday. 

Moore scratched at 3:30 Tuesday at the Kaltag checkpoint. He had 13 dogs in harness. 

Moore cited personal health reasons as a contributing factor in his decision. 

The seasoned musher has competed in the Iditarod every year since 2007-- except for 2012. Moore and his wife, Aliy Zirkle, own and operate SP Kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska. 

_____

March 13 - 3:21 p.m.

Veteran Wade Marrs scratches at Koyuk

Wade Marrs into Unalakleet

Another trail veteran has called it quits. Musher Wade Marrs made the decision to scratch at Koyuk Tuesday around noon with nine dogs "in the best interest of himself and his race team".

According to a Facebook post from Marrs' kennel, Stump Jumpin' Kennel, Marrs was told by doctors they believed he was beginning to come down with pneumonia. Since Marrs didn't have a fever, he decided to push on to Shaktoolik. "The run into Shaktoolik took a beating again on Wade because having to verbally guide his dogs in the high winds and whiteout conditions induced sheer pain."

"Soon he realized that the dogs were sensing his discomfort and hesitation amongst the whole team started to set in," the post reads.

The post goes on to say that difficult snow conditions the first half of the race caused Marrs to drop a "few key veteran dogs just for the fact that they were working too hard and tiring easily." 

"In Koyuk, Wade knew right away his pneumonia was worsening," the post continued. 

"Wade noted the continuing wind and the hills they were about to face heading into Elim. He said one or two dogs were simply not enjoying the trail anymore and that is where he draws the line for them. We are not in this to make our dogs do things they do not want to, and that would mean leaving for Elim with an even smaller team. He repeated multiple times that he can hang on to the sled and make it to Nome, but that's not how he works with his dogs, they work together and the future of his team was top priority. Pulling into Nome with pneumonia and a low confidence dog team is not his goal."

Here's a look at current race standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Into White Mountain at 7:52 a.m. with 12 dogs. 
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Into White Mountain at 11:22 a.m. with 11 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Into White Mountain at 1:24 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - Out of Elim at 10:30 a.m. with 11 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Elim at 10:53 a.m. with 12 dogs. 

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 13 - 2:14 p.m.

2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher Tom Schonberger, bib number 1. (John Rice/KTVA)

Rookie musher Tom Schonberger, of Chugiak, made the decision to scratch from this year's race around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday while still on the trail between the Grayling and Eagle Island checkpoints on the Yukon River, according to a release from the Iditarod Trail Committee.

He had 11 dogs in harness when he scratched "in the best interest of his team." 

Schonberger's team is unique to the Iditarod. It consists entirely of Siberian Huskies rather than the smaller, faster breeds chosen by most mushers. 

He has been the Red Lantern musher for much of the race. His departure puts Tara Cicatello and Steve Watkins in last. They are both currently resting at Eagle Island. 

____

March 13 – 12 p.m.

Ulsom reaches White Mountain hours ahead of Petit

First to White Mountain -- Joar Leifseth Ulsom continues to lead the pack in the 1,000-mile race to Nome.

Ulsom reached the mile 921 checkpoint at 7:52 a.m. on Tuesday. Because of it, he won the inaugural Northrim Bank Achieve More Award -- making him another $2,500 richer. 

"We’re proud to be a Lead Dog Partner of the Iditarod, supporting this timeless Alaska tradition and celebrating the first musher in to White Mountain with the Northrim Bank Achieve More Award,” said Jed Ballard, Chief Financial Officer of Northrim Bank. “The Iditarod itself inspires fans to 'achieve more’ and as an Alaska grown bank, we at Northrim applaud that pioneering spirit.”

Ulsom received a $2,500 check along with a one-of-a-kind print by Anchorage artist Marianne Wieland.

Race standings showed Nic Petit was the race's second musher to reach the key checkpoint, showing up at 11:22 a.m. after his 4:05 a.m. departure from Elim with 11 dogs. Petit's time on the run was 7 hours and 17 minutes, versus Ulsom's 6 hours and 48 minutes.

White Mountain is just 77 miles away from Nome; however, every musher is required to take a mandatory 8-hour layover at this checkpoint. 

The Iditarod.com GPS tracker showed Petit and Mitch Seavey trailing behind Ulsom on the Elim-White Mountain run, with Ray Redington Jr. and Peter Kaiser leaving Elim between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Travis Beals left Elim at 11:48 a.m.

Here's a look at the current leaderboard:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) – In to White Mountain at 7:52 a.m. with 12 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to White Mountain at 11:22 a.m. with 11 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Elim at 5:54 a.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - Out of Elim at 10:30 a.m. with 12 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Elim at 10:53 a.m. with 9 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 12 - 11:41 p.m.

Seavey departs Koyuk, gives chase

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Koyuk at 5:52 p.m. with 12 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Koyuk at 6:13 with 11 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Koyuk at 9:08 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - In to Koyuk at: 6:26 p.m. with 13 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - In to Koyuk at 7:02 p.m. with 10 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 12 - 7:03 p.m.

Ulsom, Petit depart Koyuk checkpoint

Joar Leifseth Ulsom is leading the pack out of the Koyuk checkpoint. Ulsom and his team hit the trail at 5:52 Monday evening with 12 dogs.

Just 21 minutes behind him, Girdwood's Nicolas Petit and his team left Koyuk. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Koyuk at 5:52 p.m. with 12 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Koyuk at 6:13 with 11 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Koyuk at 3:55 p.m. with 9 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) - In to Koyuk at: 6:26 p.m. with 13 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Shaktoolik at 10:21 a.m. with 10 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 12 - 4:15 p.m.

Frontrunners Petit, Ulsom, Seavey rest in Koyuk 

All three of this year's top contenders have made it Koyuk, one of the few remaining checkpoints until the finish line in Nome. 

Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom led Nicolas Petit into the checkpoint by an hour and nine minutes, while Mitch Seavey was an hour and 45 minutes behind Petit. 

Koyuk marks mile 827 of 998 of this year's Iditarod Trail. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Koyuk at 1:01 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to Koyuk at 2:10 p.m. with 11 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Koyuk at 3:55 p.m with 9 dogs
  4. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Shaktooklik at 10:21 a.m. with 10 dogs
  5. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of Shaktoolik at 10:28 p.m. with 13 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 12 - 1:15 p.m.

Credit: Jason Sear

Joar Leifseth Ulsom is the race’s first musher to Koyuk after an overtake of Nicolas Petit in grueling conditions along Norton Bay.

Race standings showed Ulsom checking in to Koyuk with 13 dogs at 1:01 p.m., after a travel time of eight hours and 13 minutes from Shaktoolik. Petit arrived more than an hour later at 2:10 p.m., with 11 dogs in harness; his transit time from Shaktoolik was 13 hours, 1 minute.

The Iditarod's GPS tracker placed Petit, whom Ulsom passed after his team veered shoreward on the Monday run north, 10 miles behind Ulsom at Mile 817 of the trail, followed by Mitch Seavey at Mile 808.

As of 1 p.m. Monday, only half a dozen other teams besides Ulsom’s had left Shaktoolik. Peter Kaiser and Ray Redington Jr. departed for Koyuk shortly after 10:20 a.m., followed by Travis Beals and Wade Marrs shortly after noon.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Koyuk at 1:01 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Nic Petit (Bib #46) – Out of Shaktoolik at 1:09 a.m. with 12 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Shaktoolik at 3:43 a.m. with 10 dogs
  4. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Shaktoolik 10:21 a.m. with 10 dogs
  5. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of Shaktoolik at 10:28 a.m. with 13 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 12 - 10:15 a.m.

Petit veers off course; Joar Leifseth Ulsom takes lead

Nic Petit apparently veered off course on the sea ice outside of Shaktoolik and backtracked, according to the Iditarod GPS tracker.

At the same time, Joar Leifseth Ulsom passed him on the trail and has taken the top spot. Mitch Seavey is currently about six miles behind the two. 

Weather conditions along the coast consist of blowing snow and strong winds. According to the tracker, Petit and Seavey both stopped at a safety cabin about 20 miles outside of the checkpoint. 

 

_____

March 12 – 6:35 a.m.

Petit, Seavey battling for the top spot

According to the Iditarod.com GPS tracker, Nic Petit and Mitch Seavey are duking it out for the top spot at Mile 793 -- approximately 34 miles to the Koyuk checkpoint. Joar Leifseth Ulsom is trailing behind them while the rest of the top five rests in Shaktoolik.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nick Petit (Bib #46) – Out of Shaktoolik at 1:09 a.m. with 12 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Shaktoolik at 3:43 a.m. with 10 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Shaktoolik at 4:48 a.m. with 13 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - In to Shaktoolik at 4:30 a.m. with 13 dogs.
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - In to Shaktoolik 4:31 a.m. with 11 dogs 

For a full list of standings, click here

______

March 11 - 11:25 p.m.

Ryan Redington (Bib # 7) made the decision to scratch at the Kaltag checkpoint, citing the health of his dog team. 

He scratched at 8:51 p.m. with 11 dogs in harness. 

Redington is the fifth musher to voluntarily scratch in this year's race. His younger brother, Robert Redington, chose to scratch Saturday in Shageluk, also citing the health and wellness of his team.

The other mushers who have scratched are DeeDee Jonrowe, Zoya Denure and Scott White. 

______

March 11 – 7:00 p.m.

Seavey, Ulsom now in Unalakleet

Mitch Seavey and Joar Leifseth Ulsom have finally made it to Unalakleet. Seavey made it to the Mile 737 checkpoint 40 minutes ahead of Ulsom.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nick Petit (Bib #46) – In to Unalakleet at 1:40 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) -In to Unalakleet at 5:58 p.m. with 11 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Kaltag at 6:38 p.m. with 13 dogs
  4. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - Out of Kaltag at 7:30 a.m. with 12 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Kaltag at 7:29 a.m. with 13 dogs 

For a full list of standings, click here

____

March 11 – 1:58 p.m.

First to Unalakleet -- Nicolas Petit continues to hold onto the top spot as he officially made it into the Mile 737 checkpoint at 1:40 p.m. on Sunday with 13 dogs and one in his sled.

According to the Iditarod.com GPS tracker, Joar Leifseth Ulsom is resting at Mile 713 with Mitch Seavy racing about 8 miles behind him. Peter Kaiser, Ray Redington Jr. and Richie Diehl are neck-and-neck near Mile 705 to round out the top six.

Once the mushers reach Unalakleet they will have completed 737 miles of the 1000-mile race. The village is considered to be the largest community on the trail between Wasilla and Nome.

According to Iditarod.com, once mushers leave this checkpoint, they’ll be entering the gateway to the Bering Sea and can expect sudden storms and an ample supply of wind.

Petit, along with Ulsom, Seavy, Kaiser, Redington Jr. and Diehl have all completed their mandatory 8- and 24-hour layovers. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nick Petit (Bib #46) – In to Unalakleet at 1:40 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Kaltag at 3:13 a.m. with 13 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Kaltag at 3:15 a.m. with 12 dogs
  4. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Kaltag at 7:29 a.m. with 13 dogs 
  5. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - Out of Kaltag at 7:30 a.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

____

March 11 - 10:25 a.m.

Nicolas Petit continues his lead heading to the Bering Sea coast checkpoint of Unalakleet. At the moment, he's about 30 miles out, with Joar Leifseth Ulsom five miles behind and Mitch Seavey about 10 miles behind. 

The three leaders have maintained their separation from the rest of the pack out of Kaltag. This year's Kuskokwim 300 winner Pete Kaiser, along with Richie Diehl and Ray Redington Jr., are bunched up about 30 miles behind Petit. 

Here are the current race standings, as of this morning:

  • Nick Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Kaltag at 1:43 a.m. with 13 dogs
  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Kaltag at 3:13 a.m. with 13 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey - Out of Kaltag at 3:15 a.m. with 11 dogs
  • Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - Out of Kaltag at 7:29 a.m. with 12 dogs
  • Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Kaltag at 7:30 a.m. with 11 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

____

March 10 - 8:26 p.m.

Nicolas Petit is the first musher into Kaltag, with 14 dogs in harness.

With that, he wins the Bristol Bay Native Corporation Fish First Award. That includes a certificate for 25 pounds of freshly caught salmon and a check for $2,000.

Liz Raines looks at the 2,000-mile journey of food to Anvik.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nick Petit (Bib #46) - Into Kaltag at 7:45 p.m. with 14 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Grayling at 9:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Grayling at 9:58 p.m. with 13 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of Grayling at 4:05 a.m. with 14 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Grayling at 4:19 a.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

March 10 - 5:32 p.m.

Berington nearly wipes out in Shageluk

It's not always a smooth ride on the Iditarod Trail.

Musher Kristy Berington nearly turned over her sled coming around a corner with a sudden dropoff. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nick Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Grayling at 4:48 p.m. with 14 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Grayling at 9:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Grayling at 9:58 p.m. with 13 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of Grayling at 4:05 a.m. with 14 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Grayling at 4:19 a.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 10 - 1:30 p.m.

Robert Redington scratches in Shageluk

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher Robert Redington (Liz Raines/KTVA)

Musher Robert Redington has scratched from the Iditarod in Shageluk, in the best interests of his team.

Iditarod officials say Redington, who has worn bib 34 on the trail, made his decision at 10:07 a.m. in Shageluk with 11 dogs in harness.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher Robert Redington's dog team in Shageluk, where he scratched from the race on Saturday, March 10, 2018. (Jason Sear/KTVA)

Race standings at midday Saturday showed Redington in 35th place, after reaching Shageluk with 12 dogs at 1:24 p.m. Friday.

Redington's brothers and fellow Iditarod 2018 mushers, Ryan and Ray Redington Jr., are all grandsons of Joe Redington Sr. Ray led Saturday's breakout from Grayling en route to Kaltag, and is currently fourth in race standings.

_____

March 10 - 10:30 a.m.

Pack tries to catch front-runners in race to Kaltag

The Iditarod field is making up for lost time overnight Friday, with the pack out of Grayling poised to overtake some of the race's front-runners.

Nicolas Petit is still leading the race to Kaltag as of 10:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Iditarod's GPS tracker showing him about 50 miles out from the checkpoint and racing at Mile 596 -- 11 miles beyond where Mitch Seavey and Joar Leifseth Ulsom were still resting on the trail.

Nineteen other mushers have left Grayling Saturday, starting with Ray Redington Jr., Richie Diehl and Peter Kaiser's departures shortly after 4 a.m. Redington is leading the pack near Mile 581.

Front-runners include:

  • Nick Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Grayling at 4:48 p.m. with 14 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Grayling at 9:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Grayling at 9:58 p.m. with 13 dogs
  • Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of Grayling at 4:05 a.m. with 14 dogs
  • Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Grayling at 4:19 a.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 9 - 10:36 p.m.

Seavey, Ulsom mush out of Grayling in pursuit of Petit

Defending champion Mitch Seavey and veteran musher and top-contender Joar Leifseth Ulsom are out the gates at Grayling.

Seavey and Ulsom completed their mandatory-eight at the checkpoint and are on the heels of front-runner Nicolas Petit, who, at the time of this writing, was resting, not running; according to Iditarod.com's GPS tracker, Seavey is 12 miles behind Petit, while Ulsom is 14 miles behind. 

Rounding out the top five, Peter Kaiser and Richie Diehl crossed paths with Seavey and Ulsom at Grayling for a few minutes. Both Kaiser and Diehl have completed their mandatory-eight. 

Ulsom dropped two dogs at the Grayling checkpoint. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • Nick Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Grayling at 4:48 p.m. with 14 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Grayling at 9:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Grayling at 9:58 p.m. with 13 dogs
  • Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - In to Grayling at 9:40 p.m. with 12 dogs
  • Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - In to Grayling at 9:48 p.m. with 13 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 9 - 9:22 p.m.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nick Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Grayling at 4:48 p.m. with 14 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Grayling at 1:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Grayling at 1:58 p.m. with 15 dogs
  4. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Anvik at 6:56 p.m. with 12 dogs
  5. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - Out of Anvik at 7:06 p.m. with 13 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 9 - 7:50 p.m. 

With his mandatory 8, Petit leads out of Grayling

Nicolas Petit is the front-runner, with both of his mandatory layovers completed, he left the Grayling checkpoint late-Friday afternoon at 4:48 with 14 dogs. 

Defending champion Mitch Seavey and Norweigan Joar Leifseth Ulsom are currently completing their mandatory-eight at the Grayling checkpoint. They're set to leave around 10 p.m.

All three, Petit, Seavey and Joar, all finished last year's Iditarod in the top 5. 

This season, Petit hasn't lost a race. He reigned supreme at each the Copper Basin 300, Tustumena 200 and the Knik 200 Joe Redington Sr. Memorial Sled Dog Race. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nick Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Grayling at 4:48 p.m. with 14 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Grayling at 1:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Grayling at 1:58 p.m. with 15 dogs
  4. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - Out of Shageluk at 3:25 p.m. with 13 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - Out of Shageluk at 3:29 p.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 9 - 4:43 p.m.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Grayling at 1:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  2. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Grayling at 1:58 p.m. with 15 dogs
  3. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to Grayling at 4:11 p.m. with 14 dogs
  4. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - In to Shageluk at 7:25 a.m. with 13 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - In to Shageluk at 7:29 a.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

Veteran musher Jeff King discusses wild weather conditions on the Yukon

 
User: KTVA 11 News To: link

_____

March 9 - 3:15 p.m.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Grayling at 1:45 p.m. with 12 dogs
  2. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Grayling at 1:58 p.m. with 15 dogs
  3. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Anvik at 1:21 p.m. with 14 dogs
  4. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - In to Shageluk at 7:25 a.m. with 13 dogs
  5. Peter Kaiser (Bib #30) - In to Shageluk at 7:29 p.m. with 12 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 9 - 9:30 a.m.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race 2018 musher Scott White (Courtesy Iditarod.com)

Washington-based musher Scott White has scratched from the race in Takotna.

Iditarod officials said in a statement that White, of Snohomish, "made the decision to scratch in the best interest of his race team" at 8:20 a.m. Friday. He will take his team of 10 dogs to McGrath, for transport to Anchorage.

White has been wearing bib number 62 on the Iditarod trail. Race standings early Friday had shown him in 60th place, leaving Takotna at 12:42 a.m.

_____

March 9 - 5:50 a.m.

Petit first in to Anvik, wins 'First to Yukon' award

Girdwood musher Nicolas Petit was first into the Anvik checkpoint Friday at 5:21 a.m. He pulled in with 14 dogs. 

He told race officials he was going to take his mandatory eight-hour break.

For arriving first to Anvik, He receives the "Lakefront Anchorage First to the Yukon" award, which includes a five-course meal and champagne. 

He also receives $3,500 in $1 bills, presented in a "commemorative gold pan." 

Petit and Mitch Seavey had been trading places from Takotna to Iditarod. Seavey is currently resting in Shageluk, about 30 miles from Anvik. 

Joar Leifseth Ulsom took his 24-hour rest in Iditarod and is approaching Shageluk. 

_____

March 8 - 10:01 p.m.

Petit, Seavey race towards Shageluk

Girdwood's Nicolas Petit was the first musher to leave the Iditarod checkpoint Thursday evening, posting a time of 7:02 p.m. Though, defending champion Mitch Seavey is hot on his heels. Seavey mushed out of Iditarod en route to the Shageluk checkpoint at 7:46 p.m.

Joar Leifseth Ulsom is the third musher out of the gate-- about two hours behind Seavey-- one dog fewer.

Current race standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Iditarod at 7:02 p.m. with 14 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Iditarod at 7:46 p.m. with 13 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Iditarod at 9:38 p.m. with 15 dogs
  4. Lars Monsen (Bib #61) - In to Iditarod at 5:16 a.m. with 15 dogs
  5. Jeff King (Bib #40) - In to Iditarod at 4:08 p.m. with 14 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 8 - 8:00 p.m.

Girdwood's Petit leads out of Iditarod

There's a new leader of the pack! Girdwood's Nicolas Petit is the first musher to move on from the Iditarod checkpoint. 

According to the current standings on Iditarod.com, Petit left the checkpoint at 7:02 p.m. Thursday. And, as of this writing, he's the only musher to have done so. 

_____

March 8 - 7:16 p.m.

Here's a look at current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Into Iditarod at 8:28 p.m. with 16 dogs
  2. Lars Monsen (Bib #61) - Into Iditarod at 5:16 a.m. with 15 dogs
  3. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Into Iditarod at 2:28 p.m. with 14 dogs
  4. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Into Iditarod at 3:17 p.m. with 13 dogs
  5. Jeff King (Bib #40) - Into Iditarod at 4:03 p.m. with 14 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 8 - 5:08 p.m.

Iditarod winner to take pay cut

The overall purse for the world's most famous sled dog race is down a quarter-million dollars from last year.

The decrease has been blamed on a recession in Alaska and pressure on sponsors by animal rights groups.

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race officials say this year's purse is $500,000 and will be split among all the racers according to their finish.

Race spokesman Chas St. George says the winner will receive about $50,000, far less than the $71,000 Mitch Seavey received after winning last year's race.

The Iditarod recently lost Wells Fargo bank as a major corporate sponsor amid allegations from animal rights groups involving the mistreatment of race dogs.

_____

There's a lot happening on the Trail! Don't miss any coverage from the KTVA Field Team:

Seavey strategy: Carrying his dogs 

Iditarod musher scares off bison along trail with ax 

Photos: Scenes from Takotna - Day 2 

 
User: KTVA 11 News To: link

_____

March 8 - 4:07 p.m.

Petit, Seavey reach halfway point at Iditarod

Nicolas Petit arrives into Iditarod. (Credit: Iditarod Insider)

Mushers Nicolas Petit and Mitch Seavey have both reached the Iditarod checkpoint, the official halfway marker along the trail.

Petit entered at 2:28 p.m. with 14 dogs, followed by Seavey at 3:17 p.m. with 13 dogs. Both Petit and Seavey completed their mandatory 24-hour rest at the Takotna checkpoint. 

Wednesday night, Norweigan veteran Joar Leifseth Ulsom was the first to reach Iditarod, earning him the GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway award. Ulsom has not taken his mandatory 24-hour stop yet.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Iditarod at 8:28 p.m. with 16 dogs
  • Lars Monsen (Bib #61) - In to Iditarod at 5:16 a.m. with 15 dogs
  • Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to Iditarod at 2:28 p.m. with 14 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Iditarod at 3:17 p.m. with 13 dogs
  • Larry Daugherty (Bib #14) - Out of Ophir at 5:57 p.m. with 15 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 8 - 8:00 a.m.

Video: Ulsom wins GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award

Joar Leifseth Ulsom is the first musher to reach the halfway mark-- the town of Iditarod-- on the Iditarod 46 trail.

Ulsom, a Norwegian competitor whose father flew to greet him in Takotna, will take home a trophy and $3000 in gold nuggets.

Iditarod was established during the Alaskan gold rush and was once the heart of the Iditarod Mining District, according to Iditarod.com.

Iditarod, while it is the official halfway point in the race, marks only mile 432 of the 998-mile trail-- or just under halfway.

Here's a look at the current race standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Iditarod at 8:28 p.m. with 16 dogs
  2. Lars Monsen (Bib #61) - In to Iditarod at 5:16 a.m. with 15 dogs
  3. Larry Daugherty (Bib #14) - Out of Ophir at 5:57 p.m. with 15 dogs
  4. Jeff King (Bib #40) - Out of Ophir at 6:41 p.m. with 14 dogs
  5. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Ophir at 2:12 p.m. with 13 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

______

Catch up on the day's happenings! Here's a look at the Iditarod stories posted Wednesday:

A new sight at this year's Iditarod: Security cameras 

Veteran musher Charlie Bejna is having a day 

Takotna offers Iditarod racers Norwegian welcome 

Bearss Blog: Who’s in first, What’s in second and I Don’t Know’s in third 

Bearss Blog: When is a mandatory 24-hour rest really a 24-hour rest? 

Photos: Takotna checkpoint hospitality 

Photos: From the Nikolai checkpoint 

_____

March 7 - 12:15 a.m.

The race is on: Mitch Seavey, Nicolas Petit bolt out of Takotna

Nicolas Petit sped into Takotna at 11:28 p.m. with 14 very energetic dogs and the hurry-up attitude of a musher with his sights set on the finish line. 

He stopped for only 3 minutes, picked up two bag lunches from the volunteers and raced off into the heavy, wet snow towards Ophir. 

Minutes later, 2017 champ Mitch Seavey readied his team and raced out of the checkpoint in hot pursuit of Petit. 

Both mushers have now completed their mandatory 24-hour break. Joar Leifseth Ulsom, who was first into Iditarod, has not taken his 24-hour break. 

With poor winter weather conditions expected on the trail between Takotna and Iditarod, Ulsom's move could play in his favor. 

_____

March 7 - 8:56 p.m.

Ulsom wins GCI Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award

Joar Leifseth Ulsom is the first musher to reach the halfway mark-- the town of Iditarod-- on the Iditarod 46 trail.

Ulsom, a Norwegian competitor whose father flew to greet him in Takotna, will take home a trophy and $3000 in gold nuggets.

Ulsom has not yet taken his mandatory 24-hour rest.

Lars Monsen is expected to be the second musher to reach the halfway point. He was about 40 miles behind Ulsom at the time of this writing.

Mitch Seavey won the award last year by reaching Huslia, on the northern route, first.

Credit: Jason Sear

Iditarod was established during the Alaskan gold rush and was once the heart of the Iditarod Mining District, according to Iditarod.com.

Iditarod, while it is the official halfway point in the race, marks only mile 432 of the 998-mile trail-- or just under halfway.

Here's a look at the current race standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to Iditarod at 8:28 p.m. with 16 dogs
  2. Lars Monsen (Bib #61) - Out of Ophir at 2:05 p.m. with 15 dogs
  3. Larry Daugherty (Bib #14) - Out of Ophir at 5:57 p.m. with 15 dogs
  4. Jeff King (Bib #40) - Out of Ophir at 6:41 p.m. with 14 dogs
  5. Hugh Neff (Bib #68) - In to Ophir at 9:44 a.m. with 13 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

______

March 7 - 3:03 p.m.

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Ophir at 4:52 a.m. with 16 dogs
  2. Hugh Neff (Bib #68) - In to Ophir at 9:44 a.m. with 13 dogs
  3. Ketill Reitan (Bib #54) - In to Ophir at 10:31 a.m. with 14 dogs
  4. Martin Buser (Bib #28) - In to Ophir at 12:37 p.m. with 16 dogs
  5. Jessie Holmes (Bib #41) - In to Ophir at 12:52 p.m. with 15 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here

_____

March 7 - 10:40 a.m.

Idita-cast: Snow, high winds moving in

The front-runners, who are headed out of Ophir and into Iditarod, are running into a storm.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Lower Yukon Valley, including Iditarod, from noon today through 6 a.m. Thursday. This area will see 1 to 3" of snow along with wind gusts to 40 mph, causing drifting snow and poor visibility.

Further east -- Takotna, Ophir and McGrath will see temperatures in the mid- to upper-20s during the day and into the teens overnight. Light snow is likely Wednesday night and Thursday with winds out of the SE of 5 to 10 mph.

By: Meteorologist Melissa Frey

______

March 7 - 9:15 a.m.

A look back on DeeDee's mushing career

It was her thirty-fifth and final mush to Nome -- veteran musher DeeDee Jonrowe was looking forward to her last run, however, on Tuesday in Rainy Pass, she made the decision to scratch for the well-being of her team. 

"You know, I gotta tell you, it's me. And what's wrong with me? Me doesn't think she can do a good job for them -- That makes my decision easy," DeeDee explained in Rainy Pass on Tuesday. "They're the most precious thing, they're the only thing I've had for longer than two years except for my husband."

Over the year's she proved how strong she really was. She fought off cancer, a wildfire that destroyed her Willow home and the loss of those closest to her. Despite all of that, she has 16 top 10 finishes and has become an Iditarod legend.

On Sunday, KTVA's Dave Goldman and John Thompson looked back on her mushing career.


To view the full Frontiers episode, click here

______

March 7 - 7:45 a.m.

Current standings on the trail

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Ophir at 4:52 a.m. with 16 dogs
  2. Hugh Neff (Bib #68) - Out of Takotna at 6:14 a.m. with 14 dogs
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Takotna at 9:45 p.m. with 13 dogs
  4. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - In to Takotna at 12:18 a.m. with 15 dogs
  5. Jessie Royer (Bib #36) - In to Takotna at 1:12 a.m. with 14 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

______

Don't miss a thing! Here's a look at the most recent Iditarod stories posted on KTVA.com:

 

Bearss Blog: The A to Z in catching ZZZZs along the Last Great Race 

Unredacted toxicology results obtained in Iditarod doping scandal 

Bearss Blog: How soft snowpack leads to injuries on the trail 

Ryan Redington's solid run continues into Nikolai 

______

March 7 - 2:50 a.m.

Four things you might have missed from Takotna:

  1. Surprise. Surprise. Mitch Seavey is first musher to arrive in Takotna at 9:45 p.m. Ray Redington Jr. pulled in second, over 2.5 hours behind Seavey. 
  2. Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom ecelts NOT to take his 24-hour break and blazes through Takotna. 
  3. Temperatures are up and speeds are down. A slower trail makes for a tougher grind for the teams. Temperatures hovered around 30 degrees through the late evening in Takotna. 
  4. Veterans Linwood Fiedler and Aliy Zirkle were exhausted as they pulled into Takotna. They both spent a short time with their respective teams before heading to bed. Both are taking 24 in Takotna. 

_____

March 6 - 11:34 p.m.

Zirkle rounds out top 5 out of McGrath checkpoint

Aliy Zirkle at the Nikolai checkpoint.

The first musher to make it to Takotna, about a third of the way through the Iditarod Trail, is Mitch Seavey. As off 11:34, only five others had left the McGrath checkpoint about 18 miles down the trail from Takotna. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Into Takotna at 9:45 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of McGrath at 9:25 with 15 dogs
  3. Jessie Royer (Bib #36) - Out of McGrath at 10:30 p.m. with 14 dogs
  4. Linwood Fiedler (Bib #8) - Out of McGrath at 10:48 p.m. with 15 dogs
  5. Aliy Zirkle (Bib #31) - Out of McGrath at 10:53 p.m. with 15 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 6 - 9:56 p.m.

Seavey leads the pack into Takotna checkpoint

Pack leader Mitch Seavey was the first to reach the Takotna checkpoint Tuesday night, arriving at 9:45 with 13 dogs. 

Takotna, which has a population of just 51, is 329 miles into Iditarod Trail. According to Iditarod.com, the town has both a store and a restaurant, and though it may be small, the town always offers one of the biggest welcomes.

"I did it! Took six hours to get to McGrath instead of little over five sometimes," Seavey said. "I've been kind of puzzled about that all day-- how the planning is working out. Basically, just do the right thing one thing at a time."

KTVA's Iditarod Trail Crew says Seavey, the three-time champion, plans to make Takotna a 24-hour stop. 

Seavey reaches the Tokotna checkpoint along the Iditarod Trail. (Credit: Jason Sear)

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - In to Takotna at 9:45 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of McGrath at 9:25 p.m. with 15 dogs
  3. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to McGrath at 7:59 p.m. with 16 dogs
  4. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to McGrath at 8:37 p.m. with 15 dogs
  5. Wade Marrs (Bib #11) - In to McGrath at 9:02 p.m. with 15 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 6 - 9:37 p.m.

Seavey wins PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award

As veteran musher Mitch Seavey was the first musher to reach the McGrath checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail, the defending champion is also now the PenAir Spirit of Alaska Award winner!

PenAir CEO, Danny Seybert, presented Seavey the award, which is meant to reflect the perseverance and hard work of the Iditarod mushers. 

Seavey will receive a framed print by famed Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle, who is also the race's official artist and an inductee into the Iditarod Hall of Fame. 

Here's a look at the current standings, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of McGrath at 7:22 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - In to McGrath at 7:59 p.m. with 16 dogs
  3. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - In to McGrath at 8:37 p.m. with 15 dogs
  4. Wade Marrs (Bib #11) - In to McGrath at 9:02 p.m. with 15 dogs
  5. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) - Out of Nikolai 1:13 p.m. with 13 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

Unredacted toxicology results obtained in Iditarod doping scandal

2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher Wade Marrs, bib number 11. (John Rice/KTVA)

Hours after learning of allegations the Iditarod's top doctor intimidated one of the race's star mushers, KTVA Sports obtained unredacted toxicology results related to the 2017 doping scandal.

Read the full story and view the reports for yourself here

March 6 - 6:21 p.m.

______

March 6 - 4:23 p.m.

Seavey, Redington, Petit, Zirkle drop dogs at Nikolai

Here's a look at the current standings:

  1. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Nikolai at  12:49 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Nikolai at 1:06 with 16 dogs
  3. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) - Out of Nikolai at 1:13 p.m. with 12 dogs
  4. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) - Out of Nikolai at 1:21 p.m. with 15 dogs
  5. Aaron Burmeister (Bib #64) - Out of Nikolai at 1:27 p.m. with 15 dogs
  6. Wade Marrs (Bib #11) - Out of Nikolai at 1:31 p.m. with 15 dogs
  7. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib 17) - Out of Nikolai at 1:44 p.m. with 15 dogs
  8. Jessie Royer (Bib #36) - Out of Nikolai at 2:55 p.m. with 15 dogs
  9. Aliy Zirkle (Bib #31) - Out of Nikolai at 3:06 p.m. with 15 dogs
  10. Lindwood Fiedler (Bib #8) - Out of Nikolai at 3:43 with 15 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 6 - 4:17 p.m.

Musher Marrs accuses Iditarod top doc of intimidation

The news broke Tuesday afternoon that Wade Marrs, the top contending musher and the Iditarod Official Finishers Club president, in a statement from his kennel, Stump Jumpin' Kennel, accused Dr. Morrie Craig of approaching him publicly Sunday in Willow minutes before the start, reportedly threatening and intimidating him. 

Marrs alleges Craig told him that "his team's urine contained trace amounts of a prohibited substance" in a 2017 test.

The Marrs camp believes this was a direct threat to counteract his silence during the IOFC's meeting in Nome following the race. The group has requested that Craig be punished by the Iditarod Trail Committee. 

For the full story-- including reaction from both Marrs and Craig-- click here.

_____

March 6 - 1:30 p.m.

Seavey first out of Nikolai, on to McGrath 

Veteran musher Mitch Seavey checked out of Nikolai at 12:49 p.m. and headed 48 miles to McGrath.

He left the checkpoint with 14 dogs in harness; traveling at an average speed of 5.77 mph.

According to Iditarod.com, here are the current standings as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday:

  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) -- Out of Nikolai at 12:49 p.m. with 14 dogs.
  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) -- Out of Nikolai at 1:06 p.m. with 16 dogs.
  • Ryan Redington (Bib #7) -- Out of Nikolai at 1:13 p.m. with 13 dogs.
  • Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) -- Out of Nikolai at 1:21 p.m. with 16 dogs.
  • Ray Redington, Jr. (Bib #17) -- In to Nikolai at 9:04 a.m. with 16 dogs.

For a full list of standings, click here.

______

March 6 - 12:15 p.m.

DeeDee Jonrowe scratches from 2018 Iditarod

Beloved Iditarod musher DeeDee Jonrowe has scratched from the race at the Rainy Pass checkpoint, officials said Tuesday.

“Jonrowe made the decision to scratch due to personal health reasons and concern for taking care of her dog team, which is her No. 1 priority,” race officials said in a statement.

A total of 14 dogs were in Jonrowe’s team when she left the race at 11:12 a.m., according to the Iditarod’s statement. She was wearing bib number 39.

March 6 - 10:00 a.m.

Mushers continue to trickle into Nikolai checkpoint

As mushers continue to check in at the Nikolai checkpoint, KTVA's trail crew says the snow is really starting to come down. 

Ryan Redington pulled into Nikolai about 20 minutes before Nic Petit and Mitch Seavey.

Ryan said he had to break trail the last few miles. Most of the mushers who have arrived said they're staying for a few hours in Nikolai.

______

March 6 - 8:15 a.m.

Nikolai welcomes Redington, its first Iditarod musher of the year

Veteran musher Ryan Redington was the first to arrive at the Nikolai checkpoint Tuesday morning.

The bib number 7 musher checked in at 8:06 a.m. with 13 dogs in harness. Redington said he'll be staying in Nikolai for a "few hours".

As of 8:55 a.m., here's a look at the leaderboard, according to the Iditarod.com GPS tracker:

  1. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) -- In to Nikolai at 8:06 a.m. with 13 dogs.
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) -- In to Nikolai at 8:25 a.m. with 16 dogs.
  3. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) -- In to Nikolai at 8:27 a.m. with 14 dogs.
  4. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) -- Out of Rohn at 7:42 p.m. with 16 dogs.
  5. Ray Redington, Jr. (Bib #17) -- Out of Rohn at 7:36 p.m. with 16 dogs.

For a full list of standings, click here.

______

Here's a look at the latest Iditarod stories posted on KTVA.com:

 

Jonrowe's last Iditarod off to memorable start 

Riverside bonfires part of Iditarod tradition in Skwentna 

Bearss Blog: Taxi, please. Sleds as unique as their mushers 

 

______

March 5 - 10:35 p.m.

Redington gets nod for Day 2 Move of the Day

For the second day of the Iditarod 46 race, Ryan Redington gets the nod for the Move of the Day. 

Redington passed most of the other mushers to become the leader of the pack. 

Current leaders, as of 10:35 p.m.:

  • Ryan Redington (Bib #7) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:08 p.m. with 13 dogs
  • Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:27 p.m. with 14 dogs
  • Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:36 p.m. with 16 dogs
  • Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:42 p.m. with 16 dogs
  • Jessie Royer (Bib #36) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 8:14 p.m. with 15 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 5 - 10 p.m.

Expert talks impact of Seavey dog drop

Bad news for the defending Iditarod champion, Mitch Seavey. He dropped his lead dog Pilot in Skwentna Sunday night, according to Seavey's website.

Pilot's injury hasn't been disclosed, but when Seavey checked in, he asked the vets to have a look at one of his dogs. 

Pilot was one of the leaders helping bring Seavey to Nome and his third Iditarod title a year ago.

So, how significant is this to Seavey's hopes for a fourth crown? Bruce Lee of Iditarod.com weighed in in Nikolai.

"Often what you discover is that you have more key players. Your analogy in football this year, the second string quarterback won the Super Bowl. The year I won the Yukon Quest, I lost both of [my] main leaders 200 miles into the race, and I thought, ‘that’s it. Game over.’ And another dog stepped up and I ended up winning the race," Lee said.

"I think the thing about being a good Iditarod musher is that you can never focus on the things that are going wrong. You have to focus on the tools you have, the knowledge you have. I think that’s one of the things Lance Mackey taught us out here for years. Normally eight to 14 dogs in those teams can lead. I will say this: when you lose a key-- and we’re having weather that’s moving in here now that we’re on the north side of the range-- when push comes to shove on hard trail--  and by hard trail, I mean breaking trail in this softer snow-- that’s when you need those hard-headed leaders that can just say, ‘I’ve seen this before, follow me.’"

______

March 5 - 9:15 p.m.

Mushers leave Rohn en route for Nikolai

Here's a fresh look at the trail leaders, as of 9:15 p.m. Monday, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:08 p.m. with 13 dogs
  2. Mitch Seavey (Bib #13) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:27 p.m. with 14 dogs
  3. Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:36 p.m. with 16 dogs
  4. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 7:42 p.m. with 16 dogs
  5. Jessie Royer (Bib #36) - Out of Rohn Roadhouse at 8:14 p.m. with 15 dogs
(Credit: Iditarod Insider)

For a full list of standings, click here.

_____

March 5 - 7:28 p.m.

Marrs, Redington first into Rohn Roadhouse

Here's a look at the leaderboard, as of 7:30 p.m. Monday, according to Iditarod.com:

  1. Wade Marrs (Bib #11) - Into Rohn at 6:45 p.m. with 15 dogs
  2. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) - Into Rohn at 6:54 p.m. with 14 dogs
  3. Jessie Holmes (Bib #41) - Out of Rainy Pass at 12:28 with 16 dogs
  4. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) - Out of Rainy Pass at 1:28 with 16 dogs
  5. Nicolas Petit (Bib #49) - Out of Rainy Pass at 3:10 p.m. with 16 dogs

For a full list of standings, click here.

March 5 - 6:20 p.m.

Mitch Seavey loses trusted lead dog at Skwentna

According to Mitch Seavey's IdidaRide Racing and Tours website, Seavey's lead dog, Pilot, was dropped at the Skwentna Checkpoint, just 83 miles into the 1000-mile race. 

"I have one I need you to look at," Seavey said when he pulled into the second checkpoint. 

Ididaride reports that Pilot was flown back to Anchorage by the Iditarod Air Force, and that two of Pilot's littermates will join last year's co-MVP, Crisp, in leading the defending champ down the trail. 

In a video posted to the IdidaRide Facebook page, Seavey recounts how Pilot, who had never suffered an injury in his three years as leader, suffered from swelling in a back leg during a recent training run. He was given several training runs off to recoup, Seavey said in the video. 

"In years gone by, when we only probably had really 12 top dogs and then we were filling in, you lose your top dog and you fill in with a yearling, you've lost a lot," Seavey said. "In years when you have 22, 24 amazing dogs, [there's] not that much difference between number 1 and number 17."

Seavey finished that interview saying without Pilot, he's confident his team won't go any slower. 

The posting on the IdidaRide website states Seavey had a similar issue in 2016 when Crisp was left behind in Willow and Port in Finger Lake, leading to Pilot stepping up and becoming a leader. 

_____

March 5 - 5:53 p.m.

Iditarod mushers reach Rainy Pass, prepare for climb

Mitch Seavey reaches Rainy Pass. (Credit: Iditarod Insider)

By about 6 p.m. Monday, more than half of the mushers in the 2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race had reached the checkpoint at Rainy Pass. 

Sixty-seven teams departed Sunday on the 1000-mile race from Willow, Alaska, to Nome, on the state's West Coast. The trail winds over frozen lakes and rivers, through mountain passes and over trails once used to deliver mail and supplies to mining communities. 

The Rainy Pass checkpoint is 142 miles from the starting line. By around 6 p.m., 39 of the race's remaining 66 mushers, had checked-in to Rainy Pass. 

From the checkpoint, mushers will climb more than 1800 feet to the highest point of the pass at an elevation of 3160 feet-- mostly over barren terrain. 

_______

Here's a look at the latest Iditarod stories published on KTVA.com:

 

Frontiers 137: Iditarod 2018 - The show must go on! 

 

 

_______

March 5 - 5:20 p.m.

A look at the Iditarod 46 leaderboard

As of 5:20 p.m., here's a look at the five mushers who are leading the pack, according to the Iditarod Insider website

  1. Jessie Holmes (Bib #41) - Out of Rainy Pass at 12:28 p.m.
  2. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) -- Out of Rainy Pass at 1:28 p.m. 
  3. Wade Marrs (Bib #11) Out of Rainy Pass at 2:51 p.m.
  4. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) Out of Rainy Pass at 2:54 p.m.
  5. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) Out of Rainy Pass at 3:10 p.m.

For a full list of standings, click here.

_______

March 5 - 3:15 p.m.

A look at the Iditarod 46 leaderboard

As of 3:15 p.m., here's a look at the five mushers who are leading the pack, according to the Iditarod Insider website:

  1. Jessie Holmes (Bib #41) -- Out of Rainy Pass at 12:28 p.m.
  2. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) -- Out of Rainy Pass at 1:28 p.m. 
  3. Wade Marrs (Bib #11) Out of Rainy Pass at 2:51 p.m. 
  4. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) Out of Rainy Pass at 2:54 p.m.
  5. Ray Redington Jr (Bib #17) In to Rainy Pass at 10:16 a.m.

For a full list of standings, click here.

________

March 5 - 10:10 a.m.

First musher scratches in Iditarod 46

Musher Zoya DeNure (Bib #47) was the first musher to scratch at the Skwentna checkpoint Monday morning.


The Delta Junction musher scratched at 7:49 a.m. due to personal health reasons. She said she occasionally suffers from Atrial fibrillation (AFib) and had a rapid, irregular heartbeat as she pulled into Skwentna. 

"It's a real bummer. This is one of the fastest teams I've run," DeNure said Monday.

She was flown to a hospital in Anchorage to be checked out. 

The veteran musher also said this was her last Iditarod race for "for a while," saying she wanted to focus on family. 

She had 15 dogs in harness when she made the decision to scratch. 

______

March 5 - 7:18 a.m.

First musher out of Finger Lake

Ray Redington Jr. zipped his way through the Finger Lake checkpoint this morning, currently putting him in first. 

According to the Iditarod Insider website, Redington Jr. was in and out, checking in at 6:36 a.m. and leaving just a minute later with all 16 dogs in tow. 

The bib number 17 musher entered his first Iditarod race in 2001 and has finished every race since. His best run was in 2013 when he finished fifth. 

From Finger Lake, it's on to the Rainy Pass checkpoint. 

______

March 5 - 6:40 a.m.

A look at the Iditarod 46 leaderboard

As of 6:40 a.m., here's a look at the five mushers who are leading the pack, according to the Iditarod Insider website:

  1. Linwood Fiedler (Bib #8) -- Into Finger Lake at 3:43 a.m.
  2. Nicolas Petit (Bib #46) -- Into Finger Lake at 3:56 a.m. 
  3. Ryan Redington (Bib #7) -- Into Finger Lake at 5:37 a.m. 
  4. Richie Diehl (Bib #29) -- Into Finger Lake at 5:44 a.m. 
  5. Joar Leifseth Ulsom (Bib #33) -- Into Finger Lake at 6:07 a.m.

For a full list of standings, click here.

______

March 5 - 6:00 a.m.

First musher into Finger Lake

Musher Linwood Fiedler was the first into the Finger Lake checkpoint early Monday morning.

According to the Iditarod Insider website, Linwood checked in at 3:43 a.m. with 16 dogs in tow. 

The bib number 8 musher has run a total of 23 Iditarods. In 2001, he was a second place finisher. 

Finger lake is 123 miles from the start. 

2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher Linwood Fiedler, bib number 8. (John Rice/KTVA)

______

March 5 - 3:30 a.m.

Five things you may have missed overnight from Skwentna:

  1. Ray Redington Jr. and Mats Pettersson led the pack into Skwentna, bumper to bumper as they pulled in.
  2. Scott Janssen surprised even himself by pulling into Skwentna in fifth place. He said he has enough supplies to push through to Rainy Pass, if trail conditions allow. He feels he has a top 20 team this year. He also reiterated that this is likely his last race. 
  3. DeeDee Jonrowe had a tough time at the checkpoint. She said a couple of her dogs were in heat. They were "being mean," and snapping at each other. 
  4. Mitch Seavey pulled in with four dogs in a sled. He dropped one dog before leaving Skwentna. 
  5. Trail conditions from Willow to Skwentna were smooth, according to most mushers. Temperatures are expected to warm up as mushers head through the Alaska Range. 

______

March 5 - 1:25 a.m.

Photos: Scenes from the Skwentna checkpoint

_______

March 4 - 9:45 p.m.

The first mushers have reached the Skwentna checkpoint, 83 miles into the 2018 Iditarod. 

Ray Redington Jr. (Bib #17) was first into Skwentna, pulling in at 9:31 p.m. with all 16 dogs. 

Mats Pettersson (Bib #3) pulled in one minute later with 16 dogs, while 2017 champion Mitch Seavey pulled in at 9:39 p.m.

______

March 4 - 11:22 a.m.

Ceremonial Restart: Designated area for protesters

The Iditarod has a designated area for protesters at the Ceremonial Restart in Willow. March 4, 2018 -- Credit: John Thain

Looks like protesters have their own area to watch the mushers as they take off to Nome. 

KTVA photojournalist John Thain shared this picture of a designated area for those who plan to protest the race. 

"Iditarod has a special area for protestors this year... In an unplowed section away from the starting line," Thain said. 

At the Ceremonial Start on Saturday, a group of activists with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals held a funeral for five dogs that died during last year's Iditarod.

The dog funeral was the first of its kind staged by PETA at Iditarod.

_________

March 4 - 10:25 a.m.

KTVA Iditarod crew heads to Skwentna

Pictured (L to R): Shirley Young, Jason Sear and Liz Raines. The first of KTVA's Iditarod crew headed for Skwentna.


KTVA's Iditarod Trail Team: Shirley Young, Jason Sear, Liz Raines, David Poyzer and Lyle Wilder are headed to Skwentna. This morning, Shirley sent the station this photo as their plane was taking off. 

_________

March 1 - 4:34 p.m.

Meet the KTVA Trail Team

While the mushers finish preparing their dog teams, a KTVA team is gathering their gear and packing their bags to take on the trail.

The KTVA crew won’t be traveling by sled but by plane and snowmachine. We'll be documenting the historic race and telling the stories of mushers, the volunteers and the communities along the route.

So, who will be on the trail? A dedicated crew focused on sharing the unique stories only the Iditarod can serve up.

  • Dave Goldman - sports director
  • John Thain - director of photography
  • Liz Raines - reporter
  • Jason Sear - digital manager
  • Shirley Young - field operations manager
  • David Poyzer - photographer

Follow our coverage on KTVA 11, on KTVA.com/iditarod and across social media. Follow us on Twitter @iditarodktva.

_________

Update: February 28 - 9:40 p.m.

Watch the 2018 Ceremonial Start LIVE

Join KTVA for the ceremonial start of the 2018 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in downtown Anchorage on Saturday, March 3.

Watch live coverage of the event on KTVA-TV, GCI Channel 907 or online at iditarod.com with a paid subscription.

Follow complete race coverage online at ktva.com/iditarod.

See you downtown!

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.