Two mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race scratched Saturday at the halfway mark of the race. 

Emily Maxwell, bib No. 18, and Marcelle Fressineau, bib No. 27, scratched around noon. Both mushers said their decisions were out of concern for he welfare of their teams.

According to a release from the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC), a welfare check was issued by "Maxwell engaging her emergency locator transmitter." There were also reports from multiple passing mushers and indication of a problem when both Maxwell and Fressineau were shown as stopped on the race's GPS tracker, the release stated.

The ITC directed two people who were following the race on snowmachine to check on the mushers. Veteran musher Andy Pohl and Kale Casey, CEO of dog equipment company Non-stop dogwear, took supplies to the teams at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The teams were then able to make it to the Iditarod checkpoint, where they scratched upon arrival, according to the ITC. 

“We’d like to thank both Andy and Kale for their assistance today,” said Iditarod race marshal Mark Nordman. “The support and zero hesitation of race enthusiasts to step in and help at a moment’s notice is just one example of why we love the community that this race is so well known for.”

Maxwell had nine dogs in harness and Fressineau had 11 dogs in harness at the time they made the decision to scratch.

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