Aliy Zirkle and John Baker are leading the Iditarod. The mushers left the Nikolai checkpoint at 1:50 this afternoon. Jeff King, Lance Mackey, Mitch Seavey and Hugh Neff followed out of Nikolai about an hour later. GPS currently has Zirkle running about five miles ahead of Baker on her way to the McGrath checkpoint. She is expected to arrive there sometime this evening. In recent years, top mushers have opted to stop only briefly in McGrath and push on to the Takotna checkpoint about 20 miles down the trail. That’s where many mushers take their 24-hour layover, enjoying a scenic setting and free hamburgers and pie.