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BC-US--Iditarod,1st Ld-Writethru, US

March 12, 2019
An Alaskan and a Norwegian are running neck-and-neck in the world’s most famous sled dog race. GPS trackers show Pete Kaiser from Bethel, Alaska, and defending champion Joar Ulsom of Norway are within a mile of each other as the mushers near the finish line in Nome. They took over the lead when Frenchman Nicolas Petit’s dog team quit on him. Petit withdrew from the race late Monday and his dogs were transported off the trail by snowmobiles.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An Alaskan and a Norwegian are running neck-and-neck in the world’s most famous sled dog race.

GPS trackers show Pete Kaiser, of Bethel, Alaska, and defending Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Joar Ulsom, of Norway, are within a mile of each other as the mushers near the finish line in Nome.

Frenchman Nicolas Petit surrendered the lead when his dog team quit running Monday . Petit later withdrew from the race and his dogs were transported off the trail by snowmobiles.

Early Tuesday morning, Kaiser left the checkpoint in Elim five minutes ahead of Ulsom.

Mushers must take a mandatory eight-hour rest at the next checkpoint in White Mountain before going the last 77 miles (124 kilometers) to Nome in the 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) race across the Alaskan wilderness.