Updated 6 p.m.: Martin Buser was the first Iditarod musher to arrive at the village of Tanana, checking in at 3:15 p.m. He was followed an hour and a half later by Hugh Neff and Aliy Zirkle. Aaron Burmeister was the only other musher to reach the village on the Yukon River as of 6 p.m.

All of the mushers are out of Nenana. No mushers have scratched.


ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A young musher who recently won an all-river-ice sled dog race in Alaska has grabbed an early lead in the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Pete Kaiser of Bethel was the first to leave the Manley Hot Springs checkpoint, 161 miles into the race.

He departed at 7:58 a.m. Tuesday, followed 40 minutes later by 2004 Iditarod winner Mitch Seavey. Musher Jessie Royer of Darby, Montana, pulled out of the checkpoint 17 minutes after Seavey.

A field of 78 mushers began the trek Monday from Fairbanks to the old gold-rush town of Nome.

The race usually kicks off 225 miles south in Willow, but a lack of snow led organizers to move the start farther north.

The route change adds about 600 miles of river ice, but it eliminates a mountain range and treacherous gorge.