Iditarod Day 2: Seavey first musher to Takotna as 24-hour layovers begin

The Spirit of Alaska Award is presented to the first musher to reach McGrath.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - 11:45 p.m. Update:

Mitch Seavey is the first musher in to Takotna, having blown through McGrath in a matter of minutes. A few others behind him stopped in McGrath to take their 24-hour layovers, while others continued on behind him.

"At this point of the race it all depends on where they’re going to try to take their 24," said Race Director Mark Nordman. "Everybody’s racing to that glorious 24 hour break."

Among those declaring their layovers, though they don't have to take them here if they change their minds, are Nic Petit, Ryan Redington and Wade Marrs.

Here's the race standings as of 11:45 p.m. Tuesday:

1 Mitch Seavey 13 3/6 21:45 (In to Takotna)
2 Ray Redington Jr. 17 3/6 21:25 (Out of McGrath)
3 Jessie Royer 36 3/6 22:30
4 Linwood Fiedler 8 3/6 22:48
5 Aliy Zirkle 31 3/6 22:53
6 Joar Leifseth Ulsom 33 3/6 23:06
7 Nicolas Petit 46 3/6 20:37 (In to McGrath)
8 Wade Marrs 11 3/6 21:02
9 Ryan Redington 7 3/6 21:14
10 Aaron Burmeister 64 3/6 21:39

5:16 p.m. Update:

Mushers are on their way to the Kuskokwim River town of McGrath, after the leaders left Nikolai Tuesday.

Mitch Seavey leads the way, with Joar Leifseth Ulsom not long behind.

Here's the current leaderboard:

1 Mitch Seavey 13 3/6 12:49 (Out of Nikolai)
2 Joar Leifseth Ulsom 33 3/6 13:06
3 Ryan Redington 7 3/6 13:13
4 Nicolas Petit 46 3/6 13:21
5 Aaron Burmeister 64 3/6 13:27
6 Wade Marrs 11 3/6 13:31
7 Ray Redington Jr. 17 3/6 13:44
8 Jessie Royer 36 3/6 14:55
9 Aliy Zirkle 31 3/6 15:06
10 Linwood Fielder 8 3/6 15:43

See the Iditarod's full standings here

12:30 p.m. Update:

Day 2 on the Iditarod trail marked the day that DeeDee Jonrowe scratched out of the race which she said previously would be her last Iditarod.

She cited "personal health reasons and concern for taking care of her dog team" as the primary factor in her decision.

More can be read about that story here:

DeeDee Jonrowe scratches from 2018 Iditarod, cites health reasons

8:20 a.m. Update:

Ryan Redington, leading the way in the Iditarod race, is the first musher to officially make it into the Nikolai checkpoint.

According to the official Iditarod website, Redington checked in to Nikolai at 8:06 a.m. Close behind him on the trail were Nicolas Petit and Mitch Seavey.

The top 10 mushers to enter Nikolai are as follows:

1 Ryan Redington Bib 7 3/6 08:06:00
2 Nicolas Petit Bib 46 3/6 08:25:00
3 Mitch Seavey Bib 13 3/6 08:27:00
4 Joar Ulsom Bib 33 3/6 08:56:00
5 Ray Redington Jr Bib 17 3/6 09:04:00
6 Wade Marrs Bib 11 3/6 09:19:00
7 Linwood Fiedler Bib 8 3/6 09:41:00
8 Jessie Royer Bib 36 3/6 10:48:00
9 Aliy Zirkle Bib 31 3/6 11:00:00
10 Richie Diehl Bib 29 3/6 11:09:00

Original Story:

The racing pack is beginning to lengthen out, and recreational mushers are slowly being separated from the tough competition at the head of the pack.

According to the Iditarod's official GPS tracker, Ryan Redington is in the lead in pursuit of the Nikolai checkpoint. Behind him are mushers Nicolas Petit and Mitch Seavey.

As for who will actually make it into the checkpoint first, that remains to be seen, and though Seavey is close behind, he reportedly had to drop his lead dog.

According to the Iditaride website, Seavey dropped Pilot, previous lead sled dog and Golden Harness winner, at the Skwentna Checkpoint. Seavey's son Danny wrote on the site that Mitch "alluded to an issue with Pilot on the last training run leading up to the race." Pilot was successfully flown back to Anchorage, Danny wrote.

Whether this will present a problem for Seavey, who is still very much contending for first place coming into Nikolai, is not yet known.

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