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Western Alaska Mushers Lead into Rohn

Aaron Burmeister at the Iditarod Ceremonial Start in Anchorage. Photo: Alaska Public Media (used with permission).

Aaron Burmeister of Nome was the first into Rohn this evening, after departing first from Rainy Pass. Richie Diehl of Aniak and Pete Kaiser of Bethel followed out of Rainy Pass earlier today, showcasing Western Alaska mushers leading the pack into Rohn.

After pushing through a snowy trail, some teams opted to rest for some time in the Rainy Pass checkpoint. Others were in and out in 15 minutes or less.

Richie Diehl was second out of Rainy Pass after 3 hours, 7 minutes of rest. Pete Kaiser, who led into Rainy Pass, took 4 hours, 48 minutes before heading out toward Rohn. According to the GPS tracker, both Kaiser and Diehl appeared to be to shifting back and forth between second and third positions on the trail.

Rohn could be a musher favorite for taking official rest time. Strategy and energy of the dogs all play into that decision. KNOM’s JoJo Phillips and Joe Coleman discussed mandatory rest times earlier this afternoon. Listen here:

With a snow-filled trail so far, Rick Thoman at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy shared more on what teams can expect overnight.

Aaron Burmeister is not the only musher racing from Nome. Nils Hahn has returned to run his fifth Iditarod, last competing in 2004. He spoke with KNOM trail reporter, Davis Hovey, at the Ceremonial Start in Anchorage.

Rounding out the Western Alaska teams, Jessica Klejka of Bethel is currently in 33rd position, arriving into Rainy Pass at 6:25 p.m. this evening.

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