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Zirkle maintains Iditarod lead, reaches coast

March 9, 2014
Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The first musher in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has reached the west coast of Alaska.

Aliy Zirkle (AL'-ee ZUR'-kahl) pulled into Unalakleet (YOO'-nah-lah-kleet) at 4:39 p.m. Saturday after a 90-mile run from Kaltag.

She had left the Yukon River community at 3:18 a.m. Saturday with a 2-hour, 16-minute lead over four-time champion Martin Buser (BOO-zer).

The 44-year-old Zirkle of Two Rivers, Alaska, has been Iditarod runner-up for the last two years.

Iditarod officials say she is down to 11 dogs.

The trail from Unalakleet turns north for the final 261 miles to Nome.



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