Nicholas Petit leads the Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race, as he was the first musher to depart from the Meier’s Lake checkpoint Sunday.
Petit and his team of 10 dogs arrived at Meier Lake, the race’s third checkpoint located at mile 170, at 2:49 p.m., 1 hour and 25 minutes behind Brent Sass and his 12-dog team.
Petit departed the checkpoint at 6:49 p.m. with 10 dogs. Sass departed at 7:28 with 11 dogs.
Petit started the race with 12 dogs, but dropped two at the Sourdough checkpoint, 130 miles into the race.
Aliy Zirkle, Ryne Olson, and Matthew Failor were the other mushers to reach Meier Lake, but as of 9 p.m., none had departed.
Twenty-seven mushers started the race Saturday morning in downtown Glennallen. Eighteen remain.
The race is a qualifier for the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in February and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in March.
The 1,000-mile Quest runs between Fairbanks and Whitehorse, Yukon, and alternates starts each year. The Iditarod is more than 1,000 miles and goes from Anchorage to Nome.
Challenge Series race canceled
The Challenge Series Race No. 2, scheduled for Sunday morning at the Jeff Studdert Race Grounds, was canceled due to temperatures below -20 degrees.
The third and final race of the series is scheduled for Jan. 25.