Alaska musher scratches from Iditarod

Mar 07, 2013 -- 10:15am


- ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - David Sawatzky has scratched from this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The 59-year-old Healy musher scratched at the checkpoint in McGrath Thursday morning. Race officials say Sawatzky decided to scratch out of concern for his 13-dog dog team. The race began with 66 teams at a ceremonial start in Anchorage Saturday. The competitive start began Sunday in Willow. Three mushers have scratched. The 1,000-mile race across the Alaska wilderness will end sometime early next week in the frontier town of Nome, on the western coast. Four-time winner Lance Mackey leads the race, and was the first musher into the checkpoint in the ghost-town of Iditarod Wednesday evening. Veteran musher Sonny Lindner and four-time winners Jeff King and Martin Buser also are into Iditarod.

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