Zirkle Out of Kaltag with Iditarod Lead

Aliy Zirkle continued her quest to become the first woman in more than two decades to win the Iditarod. She spent much of Saturday afternoon in Kaltag resting her team almost six hours. She left Kaltag with 12 dogs shortly before 5 pm and raced towards Unalakleet where the temperature already was minus nine degrees.

She left behind five other mushers including last year’s champion John Baker, past champions Jeff King and Mitch Seavey, Dallas Seavey, and Aaron Burmeister. The rest of the field had yet to hit Kaltag by early evening.

Susan Butcher was the last woman to win the Iditarod. She reached Nome first in 1990. It was her fourth Iditarod win.

Other mushers of interest early Saturday evening:

– DeeDee Jonrowe was out of Nulato.

– Rookies Josh Cadzow and Brent Sass were leading the rookie field and were in Nulato. Cadzow was down to nine dogs.

– Lance Mackey, with 10 just dogs, was out of Galena.