Iditarod withdraws two mushers for falling too far behind

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Veteran Iditarod musher Steve Watkins and rookie Iditarod musher Tara Cicatello were withdrawn from the 2018 Iditarod race at 7:05 p.m. Thursday evening at the Unalakleet checkpoint.

According to a news release, Watkins and Cicatello wanted to continue the race, but race marshal Mark Nordman made the decision to stop them based on official Iditarod race rules regarding competitiveness.

“Both Tara and Steve faced very tough conditions along the Yukon River, which led to them falling behind in the race field,” said Iditarod race marshal Mark Nordman. “Due to this distance behind the rest of the field, it unfortunately was not feasible to keep the infrastructure in place to support their race efforts going forward.”

According to ITC, Watkins had 12 dogs in his team and Cicatello had 13 dogs in her team at the time of the withdraw.

The release also says both mushers and their race teams are in good health and spending the night at the Unalakleet checkpoint.

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