Nicolas Petit took the Iditarod lead Tuesday evening when he was the first to dart out of Taknota about 8:35 p.m. He spent just a few minutes in Taknota and headed towards Ophir.
Petit was trailed by Aliy Zirkle, Aaron Burmeister and Robert Sorlie. All three had reached Taknota by about 9:30 p.m.
Last year’s winner Mitch Seavey and his son, Dallas, who won the year before, were running minutes apart and were out of McGrath. Dallas was in 5th place and Mitch was in 6th place.
Martin Buser, who had lead the field in the early going, was in Nikolai Tuesday night.
The mushers found unforgiving parts of the trail and by Tuesday night, 10 had scratched or withdrawn from the race.