For some mushers, Takotna is a must-stop on the route
For many mushers there's no place like the Takotna checkpoint for a 24-hour break.
This is the point of the Iditarod where one of the hot topics is "where are they taking their 24?"
On Tuesday evening, the defending champion Joar Leifseth Ulsom stayed there. He arrived at 7:08 p.m. with 13 dogs. It's the first time he stayed in Takotna since his rookie campaign six years ago.
Jessie Royer, however, is a regular.
"This is where I 24 every year," she said. "So not a whole lot of thought behind it. I kind of thought about Iditarod this year, but not too hard."
On the flip side, Nic Petit was in Takotna for less than two minutes. It was hectic and chaotic, but it was so fast he didn't end up having time to get a sack lunch from the volunteers at the checkpoint.
He ended up going to Ophir.
Takotna is also a favorite of three-time champion Mitch Seavey. In all, eight of the first 10 on the leader board decided to stop and recharge the batteries there.
Others, like Wednesday morning's front-runner Aliy Zirkle, have their sights further down the trail on Iditarod.
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