Iditapod: Taking 24-hour rests, as Aliy takes the lead

Aliy Zirkle heats water for her dogs in McGrath, AK. (Photo by Ben Matheson)

In this episode, we have a race update as mushers start to take their mandatory 24-hour rests at different checkpoints, part of the strategy of running the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and we talk to the mushers at McGrath and Tokotna. Early Wednesday saw last year’s runner-up, Nicolas Petit, in the lead for a time, heading into Ophir. But three-time second-place finisher Aliy Zirkle left that ghost town checkpoint before Petit and was mushing in first place prior to taking her 24. Plus, we answer a listener question about how the race accounts for a staggered start at the beginning.

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Casey Grove is the host of Alaska News Nightly and a general assignment reporter at Alaska Public Media with an emphasis on crime and courts. Reach him at