Alaska musher leads in the early stage of the Iditarod

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A longtime musher from southwestern Alaska is in the lead of the early stages of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Pete Kaiser was the first musher to leave the checkpoint at Finger Lake. He is a 31-year-old running in his 10th Iditarod,

Kaiser stayed only five minutes Monday morning after arriving at the checkpoint about 125 miles (201 kilometers) into the nearly 1,000 mile (1,600 kilometer) race.

He left with a two-minute lead on Ryan Redington, a grandson of late race founder Joe Redington Sr.

Other mushers who have left the Finger Lake checkpoint include Matt Hall, Jessie Holmes and Wade Marrs. All are about 90 minutes or more behind Kaiser.

Fifty-two mushers started the race Sunday in Willow, Alaska.

The winner is expected in Nome sometime next week.

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