ANCHORAGE – Thirteen mushers are out of the running for Iditarod 42.

One of the scratches includes veteran musher DeeDee Jonrowe, who chose to leave the race after a rough ride through the Dalzell Gorge. At one point, her team broke free and she had to run to catch up with them.

She says she’s not surprised by the number of scratches from this year’s race.

“You’re seeing more, because it’s needed more,” Jonrowe said. ” It’s been critical, and in some cases critical for the survival of an individual. Gus could’ve died out there. Scott could’ve died out there. We’re talking about concussions, broken bones in a location where you can’t be gotten to. We’re talking true survival situations.”

In the end, it came down to the safety of her dogs. For them, scratching was the best option, she said.