ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race began the second day of competition with musher Nicolas Petit in the early lead.
Petit was the first to arrive at the Manley Springs checkpoint, 161 miles into the race. He checked in at 3:01 a.m. Tuesday, followed 69 minutes later by four-time Iditarod winner Martin Buser. Former Yukon Quest champion Hugh Neff pulled into the checkpoint four minutes later.
A field of 78 mushers began the trek Monday from Fairbanks to the old gold rush town of Nome.
The race usually kicks off 225 miles south in Willow. A lack of snow led organizers to move the start farther north.
It's only the second time Fairbanks has hosted the official start of the race. Similar conditions pushed the start there in 2003.