Iditarod off to a fast start

Norweigan Kjetil Backen is in the lead of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. He blew through the Rainy Pass checkpoint at 1:21 this afternoon with 15 dogs. Rainy Pass is 180 miles into the race. Backen has placed as high as third in two past Iditarods as part of “Team Norway.” Also through Rainy Pass are Nenana’s Aaron Burmeister, Gerry Willomitzer of Whitehorse, and Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof. At last check 11 teams were resting at the checkpoint, including past champs Mitch Seavey and Jeff King, Sigrid Ekran of Norway, Ramey Smith, and Dee Dee Jonrowe.

Libby Casey, APRN – Finger Lake