In this Saturday, March 2, 2019 photo, musher Aliy Zirkle, right, examines a feather given to her as a gift by a fan at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Anchorage, Alaska. Zirkle was leading the race early Thursday, and was the first musher to reach the halfway point of the race when she pulled into the checkpoint in the ghost town of Iditarod, Alaska. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

Frenchman Nicolas Petit retakes lead in Alaska's Iditarod

March 07, 2019 - 9:19 pm

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Frenchman Nicolas Petit is back in the lead in Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Petit had earlier led the 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) race and retook the top spot Thursday. He was first to leave the checkpoint at the ghost town of Iditarod, the halfway point of this year's race.

He left with all 14 of his dogs.

In second place is Aliy (AL'-ee) Zirkle. The three-time second-place finisher was in the lead earlier Thursday, when she was first to reach the Iditarod checkpoint.

For that feat, she picks up some swag. She can decide between $3,000 in gold nuggets or a top-end cellphone with free service for a year.

In third place is defending champion Joar Ulsom of Norway.

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