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The Latest: Ulsom leaves last mandatory Iditarod rest period

March 14, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (all times local):

4:05 p.m.

Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom has left the second-to-last checkpoint in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, with the finish line in Nome just hours away.

Ulsom left the White Mountain checkpoint shortly before 4 p.m. Tuesday. That checkpoint is 77 miles (123 kilometers) from Nome.

Ulsom holds the lead in the world’s most famous sled dog race. He is a native of Norway who has been living in Willow, Alaska, the dog mushing capital of the United States.

Nic Petit, a native of France who lives south of Anchorage, was in second place. Defending champion Mitch Seavey was in third. All three faced a mandatory eight-hour rest at the checkpoint before heading back out.

The race also reported that two mushers had scratched, Wade Marrs and Tom Schonberger.

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8:17 a.m.

A Norwegian musher has taken command of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog race with only a few miles to go to reach the finish line in Nome.

But first, Joar Ulsom has to take a rest.

Just before 8 a.m. AKST Tuesday, Ulsom was the first musher to reach the checkpoint in White Mountain, Alaska, where mushers and dogs are required to take an eight-hour rest. After that, it’s only 77 miles (123 kilometers) across the Bering Sea ice to the famed burled arch finish line on Front Street in Nome.

Ulsom left the checkpoint in Elim for White Mountain about three hours ahead of the nearest musher, Nic Petit, a native of France now living just south of Anchorage.

Defending champion Mitch Seavey of Seward, Alaska, was in third place.

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6:06 a.m.

A Norwegian musher continues to lead the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday.

Joar Ulsom was nearing the checkpoint in White Mountain, where mushers and dogs must take a mandatory eight-hour rest before making the final 77-mile (123-kilometer) push to the finish line in Nome.

Ulsom left the checkpoint in Elim early Tuesday morning, about three hours ahead of Nicolas Petit, a native of France.

Petit had a solid lead in the race Monday before losing the trail in a blizzard on the Bering Sea ice.

By the time he found the trail again, Ulsom had passed him.

Mitch Seavey, the defending champion of the nearly 1,000-mile (1609-kilometer) race across the Alaska wilderness, was in the third place.

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