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First Dog Death in 2000 Iditarod

March 16, 2000

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ As mushers continued to stream into Nome, a dog belonging to Michigan musher Al Hardman died Wednesday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, according to a race official.

It was the first dog death of the 1,100-mile race this year.

Race marshal Mark Nordman told radio station KNOM that the dog died on the trail between Koyuk and Elim. A necropsy was ordered for the animal and Hardman was allowed to continue in the race, according to KNOM.

Hardman was in 36th place Wednesday night. As of 9 p.m., 24 mushers had crossed the finish line.

Defending champion Doug Swingley of Lincoln, Mont., claimed his third Iditarod victory Tuesday morning. He finished in a record 9 days and 58 minutes to best his own 1995 record of 9 days, 2 hours and 42 minutes. Ramy Brooks of Healy crossed the finish line about five hours later to claim second place.

A record 81 teams began the race, which had its ceremonial start in Anchorage on March 4. By 9 p.m. Wednesday, 45 teams remained on the trail.

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