By Neil Torquiano
Channel 2 News
7:18 PM AKST, February 17, 2013
STORY UPDATED AT 7:18 p.m. 2/17/13
After spending over six hours on the Iron Dog trails, the top teams have already covered more than 300 miles early Sunday evening.
Team 10 of veterans Mike Morgan and Chris Olds lead the pack, riding on Polaris sleds, and checked into Nikolai at 6:06 p.m.
Team 8 of veterans Tyler Aklestad and Tyson Johnson trailed behind nearly a half-hour and checked into Nikolai at 6:34 p.m., riding Ski-Doo sleds.
The next stop is McGrath where early weather forecasts expected to dip as low as negative 27 degrees Sunday night.
Team 14 of Attla and Wallace declared a six-hour layer at the first stop in Skwentna around 1:21 p.m. Sunday and Team 22 of Garder and Libby declated an eight-hour layover in Puntilla at 3:41 p.m. Sunday.
STORY UPDATED AT 1:29 p.m. 2/17/13:
The start of the 30th Iron Dog race began in Big Lake around 11:00 a.m. Sunday with Team 7 of veteran Bret Brown and rookie Cody Kubitz getting the lucky draw.
The first checkpoint of the 2,000 mile trek is in Skwentna about 89 miles away from the start. The race heads towards Nome and then on to the finish line in Fairbanks.
39 teams were waving to fans at the start with 16 rookie teams and nine former champs hitting the trails.
The first team is expected to cross the finish line Saturday, February 23. This year's purse is worth $126,000 and there is more than $84,000 on the line for contingency prizes.
For more Iron Dog coverage, including video and photo galleries, check out KTUU’s special Iron Dog web page.
Editor's Note: Adds 30th anniversary detail and clarifies that the race is expected to end Saturday, Feb. 23.
Contact Neil Torquiano
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