10 March 2014

Another Iditarod Update: Jeff King Still 46 Minutes Ahead of Aliz Zirkle

With last-minute lead changes and the promise of a record-breaking finish, welcome to the final hours and miles of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Four-time champion Jeff King is poised for a fifth title, but any mistakes could allow fan-favorite Aliy Zirkle to make a bid for the upset. Today the leaders are in White Mountain, where they must take an eight-hour break before dashing the last 77 miles to Nome. 

Update 10:30 a.m. Monday:

Despite a team built for tougher trail, Dallas Seavey leaps to 3rd place

From Kevin Klott --

Willow's Dallas Seavey cruised into White Mountain this morning with a firm grip on third place.
The 2012 Iditarod champion signed in at 9:48 a.m. -- almost two hours behind Aliy Zirkle and two hours, 46 minutes behind race leader Jeff King -- and in good position to finish in the top eight for the sixth time in eight Iditarods.
Iditarod musher Aliy Zirkle, from Two Rivers, AK, arrived second behind Jeff King into the White Mountain checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 10, 2014. Anchorage Daily News reporter Casey Grove interviews Zirkle as she cares for her dog team on the frozen Fish River at the checkpoint. BOB HALLINEN — Anchorage Daily News  
2014 Iditarod Day 9 Photo Gallery here

Unless disaster strikes along the 77-mile trek from White Mountain to Safety to Nome, when Seavey leaves White Mountain at 5:48 p.m., the 26-year-old will be in line for the $44,900 check awarded to the third-place finisher.

Seavey, who was the 11th musher into Unalakleet on Sunday, has leap-frogged his way to the top little by little. Despite being ahead of schedule, Seavey said he is where he is because his team is built for toughness rather than speed.

"They're more of an off road vehicle than a sportster," he said about his dogs. "This year's been a race on a race track, not an off road track."

His dad and defending champion Mitch Seavey is heading into White Mountain and battling with Big Lake's Martin Buser for the fourth-place spot.

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