Zirkle retakes lead in Iditarod in run to coast


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Aliy Zirkle (AL'-ee ZUR'-kahl) left the Yukon River village of Kaltag (KAL'-tag) at 3:18 a.m. Saturday to take the lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The 44-year-old musher from Two Rivers, Alaska, paused only seven minutes in the final checkpoint before Unalakleet (YOO'-nah-lah-kleet), where teams turn north for the run to Nome along Alaska's west coast.

Zirkle is down to a dozen dogs.

Four-time champion Martin Buser (BOO'-zer), of Big Lake, Alaska, led most of Friday and was first into Kaltag.

He rested his team for three and a half hours and left Kaltag at 5:34 a.m., two hours and 16 minutes behind Zirkle.

Nicolas Petit of Girdwood, Alaska, is in third. He rested in Kaltag just 18 minutes and left an hour and 45 minutes after Buser.

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