AP NEWS

Norwegian maintains Iditarod lead, loses out on beaver mitts

March 6, 2019
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Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race defending champion Joar Ulsom, of Norway, talks to fans before the ceremonial start of this year's race Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska. Ulsom and 51 other mushers will officially start the race Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Willow, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom retook the lead in the world’s most famous sled dog race, but he missed out on a pair of mitts made out of beaver and a new musher’s hat.

Frenchman Nicolas Petit was the first musher to reach the community of McGrath, winning the prizes made by locals.

Ulsom, the defending champion, breezed into the checkpoint about 90 minutes later on Tuesday and immediately left to reclaim the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race.

The McGrath checkpoint is 311 miles (500 kilometers) into the nearly 1,000 mile (1,600 kilometer) race with 13 dogs.

The race began Sunday north of Anchorage. The winner is expected in Nome, on Alaska’s western coast, next week.