ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Musher Aliy Zirkle has led for much of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and she's unwilling to relinquish that lead for long.
Zirkle passed 2004 champion Mitch Seavey on Friday after he was the first musher to reach the Ruby checkpoint on the Yukon River. Zirkle was first into Galena on Friday afternoon. That checkpoint is just 393 miles from the finish line in Nome. Following her were Mitch Seavey, his son Dallas Seavey and defending champion John Baker.
Mitch Seavey picked up $3,000 for being the first musher to reach Ruby.
Sixty-six mushers began the nearly 1,000-mile race from Anchorage to Nome last Sunday. Three mushers have scratched with the leaders more than halfway through the race.