At Talkeetna, Alaska, five former champions were chasing Norway’s Kjetil Backen through wet falling snow in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Backen was the first musher to reach the checkpoint at Nikolai, checking in at 10:39 a.m. with 15 dogs. Veteran Gerry Willomitzer of Whitehorse, Yukon, was second in to Nikolai, population 109, the first of many Native villages along trail to Nome.
-- From wire reports
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