Arduous Iditarod Demands Mushers' Tactics, Tricks

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Here's one proven way to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race: Let others take the early lead in the 1,000-mile trek to Alaska's wind-scoured western coast.

That approach might seem counterintuitive to the novice fan of the famous race. Running the Iditarod is as simple as hitching 16 dogs in front of a sled and bolting off into the snowy horizon, right?

Uh, no. Just ask some top mushers. Lagging behind to let dogs conserve their energy is among strategies employed by top mushers. But holding back can also backfire for various reasons, if the timing is miscalculated, for example, or a fierce blizzard strikes at the wrong time.

Four-time champion Martin Buser maintains his lead Monday, after resting for just two minutes at the Rainy Pass checkpoint.


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