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Stories about sporting events.

Pete Kaiser leaves the Shageluk checkpoint on March 8, 2019.
Ben Matheson

Mushers Pete Kaiser of Bethel and Richie Diehl of Aniak are halfway through the Iditarod trail. Both passed through the Shageluk checkpoint on the Yukon River on Friday, where KNOM reporter Ben Matheson checked in with them. Listen to the interviews here.


Iditarod musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom leaves the Shageluk checkpoint on March 8, 2019.
Ben Matheson

In the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, rough trail conditions and strategy are playing out on the Yukon River.

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

Musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom sorts through drop bags in the Iditarod checkpoint on March 7, 2019.
Ben Matheson

The rough and bumpy trail to Iditarod and onto the Yukon River took it out of both mushers and dogs. Aliy Zirkle’s gamble to push ahead and take her 24-hour mandatory layover in the Iditarod checkpoint did not pay off. She is now farther back in the pack, and behind the top 10 teams.

Musher Aliy Zirkle arrives first into the Iditarod checkpoint on March 7, 2019.
Ben Matheson

The sprint between Nicholas Petit and Joar Leifseth Ulsom ended at 12:13 p.m. on Thursday, when Petit arrived in Iditarod 15 minutes ahead of Leifseth Ulsom. Petit wasn’t there when Leifseth Ulsom checked in, because he had gone on down the trail to camp about 10 miles outside of town. Leifseth Ulsom spent most of the afternoon in Iditarod as Martin Buser arrived to take his mandatory 24-hour rest, followed by Jessie Royer, Pete Kaiser, and Richie Diehl, who have all completed their mandatory 24s.

The Iditarod checkpoint on the Iditarod River on March 7, 2019.
Ben Matheson

Another musher may show up in Iditarod soon. Joar Leifseth Ulsom and Nicholas Petit are sprinting toward the checkpoint where Aliy Zirkle is taking her mandatory 24-hour break. The two have opened up more than a 25-mile lead over the parade of other mushers who have come off their 24's and are now following them to the ghost town that marks the halfway point to Nome.

Zachariah Hughes

Bethel Musher Pete Kaiser is still with the front of the pack as he runs his team to Iditarod on Thursday. Before he left the Takotna checkpoint, he spoke with APRN  reporter Zachariah Hughes.


Zirkle’s Gamble

Mar 7, 2019
Zachariah Hughes

There’s a parade of mushers running to the ghost town of Iditarod this morning, where Aliy Zirkle and her team are sleeping. The Two Rivers musher was awarded the Dorothy Page Halfway award when she arrived there at 1:39 a.m. on Thursday, March 7. This year it’s a choice between a gold iPhone with a year of free service or $3,000 in gold nuggets. 

Diehl Versus Tree On Trail

Mar 7, 2019
Zachariah Hughes

Every Iditarod musher has a harrowing story to tell, and Aniak musher Richie Diehl has a doozy and a black-eye to prove it. He ran face first into a tree while mushing from Nikolai to McGrath. The impact knocked him off the sled.

Musher Aliy Zirkle at the Rainy Pass Lodge checkpoint on the Iditarod trail on March 4, 2019.
Zachariah Hughes / APRN

The Iditarod is reaching its halfway point, and that means some rugged country and strategy.


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