Peter Kaiser wins 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Kaiser is the first musher of Yup’ik descent to win the race

Veteran musher Peter Kaiser is the 2019 Iditarod champion.

Kaiser, from Bethel, Alaska, is the first musher of Yup’ik descent to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, according a press release from the race.

The nearly 1,000-mile (1,600-km) race took Kaiser nine days, 12 hours, 39 minutes and six seconds, ending when Kaiser reached the finish line in Nome, Alaska, at 3:39 a.m. local time on March 13.

Close behind in second place was 2018 winner Joar Leifseth Ulsom, finishing just 12 minutes behind Kaiser. Ulsom, from Mo i Rana, Norway, had a total race time of nine days, 12 hours, 51 minutes and 22 seconds.

As of 9 a.m. on March 13, rookie Ed Hopkins of 10 Mile is resting with his team at the Koyuk checkpoint. Hopkins is in 28th position and arrived at the checkpoint with 12 dogs.

The top Canadian is Alberta’s Aaron Peck, currently in 21st position, who left the Koyuk checkpoint bound for the Elim checkpoint early in the morning.

Jason Campeau, also from Alberta, is just two spots behind Hopkins in 30th. Campeau is at the Shaktoolik checkpoint.

Whitehorse’s Marcelle Fressineau scratched from the race on March 9 at 12:03 p.m. at the Iditarod checkpoint. A press release said Fressineau made the decision to scratch due to the welfare of her team. She had 11 dogs on the line at the time.

Alaskan Jessie Royer is in third place and currently on the trail from the Safety checkpoint to the finish in Nome.

Four more mushers, including 2017 Yukon Quest winner Matt Hall, are on the trail between the White Mountain checkpoint and the Safety checkpoint. A further four mushers are resting at the White Mountain checkpoint.

A total of 10 mushers have scratched from the field, leaving the number of mushers left racing or finished at 42.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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