ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race’s lead temporarily changed hands Wednesday, as most mushers settled down at Takotna for a required 24-hour layover -- but a trailblazing father and son forged their way on to Ophir.
GPS tracking and race standings both showed four-time champion Martin Buser and Rohn Buser at Ophir Wednesday afternoon, arriving at 12:19 p.m. and 1:34 p.m. respectively. A third musher, Jim Lanier, left Takotna headed for Ophir at 3:07 p.m.
The Busers' lead is likely to be taken back tomorrow, however, by Tuesday’s leader -- Aliy Zirkle, winner of the 2000 Yukon Quest -- who has already had more than 16 hours of downtime after checking into Takotna at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
John Baker, the winner of last year’s Iditarod, and 2004 champion Mitch Seavey were the next two mushers to layover in Takotna, arriving at 12:09 a.m. Wednesday, with four-time champion Jeff King the fourth to do so at 12:14 a.m. and Dallas Seavey -- Mitch’s son -- the fifth at 12:21 a.m.