Petit Leads The Iditarod Pack Up The Yukon River

Mar 8, 2019

Nicholas Petit's dogs in the Iditarod checkpoint on March 7, 2019.
Credit Ben Matheson

In the Iditarod, Nicholas Petit is leading the way up the Yukon River with 12 dogs. He dropped two in Anvik when he left the checkpoint at 8:58 a.m. About 18 miles behind him is Joar Leifseth Ulsom, who picked up speed coming into Anvik at 11:30 a.m., followed by Jessie Royer a mile behind.

Pete Kaiser and Mitch Seavey are also still running to Anvik, while Richie Diehl is catching a bit more rest back in Shageluk. He arrived in that checkpoint at 5:28 a.m. and might be taking his mandatory eight-hour layover. Of the top five out on the trail, Jessie Royer has the biggest team with 13 dogs. Most teams in the front have 10 to 12 dogs.

Farther back in the pack, two of Bethel’s rookies are on their way into Iditarod. Jessica Klejka should reach the ghost-town by Friday afternoon; Niklas Wikstrand is about 30 miles behind her. Local rookie Victoria Hardwick has moved up in the standings. Instead of being last, there are four other teams behind her as she advances toward Ophir.