We're waiting at the river — who will we see first?

Warm temperatures slowed the leaders in the Iditarod as they came through Cripple and headed toward the Yukon River and Ruby overnight. Lance Mackey was out first, but without rest, at 9:05 p.m. last night. Then Hans Gatt, a couple of hours later. Jeff King left a half hour after midnight, then Rick Swenson blasted through, taking no rest in Cripple. Kjetil Backen decided to go out right behind him. Aaron Burmeister was out next. Mitch Seavey and Jessie Royer have completed their 24-hour layovers, and soon Paul Gebhart, DeeDee Jonrowe, Zack Steer and Martin Buser will be finished with theirs, and in the chase. Someone will be first into Ruby this morning, and KUAC’s Libby Casey is waiting for them.

Meanwhile, back in McGrath, APRN’s David Shurtleff chats with some of this year’s crop of Iditarod rookies. Over 20% of the mushers in this year’s Iditarod are running the race for the first time and most first-timers find themselves towards the middle of the pack.

Be sure to listen to the attached audio report for all the details.