ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Aliy Zirkle has taken the lead in Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The 43-year-old from Two Rivers, Alaska, was the first musher out of the checkpoint at Kaltag Saturday evening.
Zirkle was the runner-up in last year's 1,000-mile race. She grabbed the lead from four-time champion Martin Buser, who was the first out of the previous checkpoint at Eagle Island early Saturday.
Zirkle left Eagle Island more than three hours after Buser. But former Iditarod racer Sebastian Schnuelle says her team traveled faster for much of Saturday and she came within several miles of Buser before stopping her team to rest eight miles before Kaltag.
The front-runners are expected to reach the Nome finish line early next week.