Zirkle maintains Iditarod lead, reaches coast


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race officials say a musher who had been running in third place has dropped out.

Nicolas Petit of Girdwood, Alaska, left Kaltag in third place Saturday. He reached the village at 6:56 a.m., rested just 18 minutes and left at 7:14, nearly an hour and 45 minutes after Martin Buser.

But officials say he scratched at 6:45 p.m., 11 miles from Unalakleet. He indicated that his team was fatigued.

Petit was the rookie of the year in 2011, and finished a career-best 6th in the 2013 race.

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