ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The first musher in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has reached the west coast of Alaska.
Aliy Zirkle (AL'-ee ZUR'-kahl) pulled into Unalakleet (YOO'-nah-lah-kleet) at 4:39 p.m. Saturday after a 90-mile run from Kaltag.
She had left the Yukon River community at 3:18 a.m. Saturday with a 2-hour, 16-minute lead over four-time champion Martin Buser (BOO-zer).
The 44-year-old Zirkle of Two Rivers, Alaska, has been Iditarod runner-up for the last two years.
Iditarod officials say she is down to 11 dogs.
The trail from Unalakleet turns north for the final 261 miles to Nome.