Fan favourite Aliy Zirkle leads Iditarod at halfway point - InfoNews

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Fan favourite Aliy Zirkle leads Iditarod at halfway point

FILE - In this March 15, 2016 file photo, Aliy Zirkle drives her dog team to the finish line of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome, Alaska. The veteran musher is leading in Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. She is seeking to become the first woman to win in nearly three decades. She was first to leave the Ophir checkpoint Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 432 miles into the race. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen, File)
March 07, 2019 - 10:40 AM

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A perennial fan favourite in search of her first win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is in the lead.

Aliy (AL'-ee) Zirkle was the first musher to reach the halfway point of this year's race, arriving early Thursday at the checkpoint in the ghost town of Iditarod.

She picks up some swag for being first to Iditarod but will have to decide between $3,000 in gold nuggets or a top-end cellphone with free service for a year.

Zirkle has finished second three times in the thousand-mile (1,600-kilometre) race.

In second place is Martin Buser (BOOZ'-er), who is seeking a fifth title. After his last win in 2002, the native of Switzerland became a naturalized American citizen under the finish line in Nome.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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