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Dog illness prompts former Iditarod champion to scratch

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)

By MARK THIESSEN Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — One former Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Trail champion is out of this year’s race. Pete Kaiser scratched Saturday morning at the checkpoint in McGrath. He has 10 dogs in harness. He said they had picked up a bug along the trail and they were not doing well by the time they reached McGrath. He said they could have finished, but he didn’t feel they were competitive. In 2019, Kaiser became the fifth Alaska Native and the first Yupik to win the world’s most famous sled dog race. Aaron Burmeister of Nome is leading the race with former champions Dallas Seavey and Joar Leifseth Ulsom not too far behind.


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