Alaskan Native Pete Kaiser wins Iditarod dog sled race

FILE - In this March 7, 2015, file photo, musher Peter Kaiser, of Bethel, Alaska, leads his team past spectators during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Rachel D'Oro, File)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – Pete Kaiser has become the latest Alaska Native to win the Iditarod dog sled race.

Kaiser won the race for the first time early Wednesday, crossing the finish line in Nome after beating back a challenge from the defending champion, Norwegian musher Joar Ulsom.

Crowds cheered and clapped as Kaiser came off the Bering Sea ice and mushed down Nome’s main street to the famed burled arch finish line.

The 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) race began March 3 north of Anchorage.

Kaiser, who is Yupik, is from the southwest Alaska community of Bethel.

Four other Alaska Native mushers have won the race, including John Baker, an Inupiaq from Kotzebue, in 2011.

Kaiser will receive $50,000 and a new pickup truck for the victory.

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