Rodney Whaley, a veteran of 24 years in the Tennessee National Guard, is one of only 102 people in the world to qualify for the 1,159-mile race.
Canadian musher Sebastian Schnuelle has taken an early lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Schnuelle was the first out of the Finger Lake checkpoint,
departing at 6:13 a.m. Monday. He won the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest
International Sled Dog Race less than two weeks ago.
Second out of Finger Lake was Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof. He left
at 6:52 a.m.
Earlier, musher Ramey Smyth of Willow had taken the initial
lead, being the first out of the Skwentna checkpoint.
The 1,100-mile race to Nome is in its second day, starting in
Willow on Sunday. The ceremonial start was Saturday in Anchorage.
Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.