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Aaron Burmeister first Iditarod musher to reach Nikolai, while Brent Sass is first to dash out

Aaron Burmeister walking into Unalakleet in the 2020 Iditarod Trail Race. Photo by Sophia Sesalvo, KNOM.

Aaron Burmeister was the first Iditarod musher into the snowy village of Nikolai Tuesday morning, his 13-dog team pulling in at 7:38 a.m.

Alaska Public Media reports:

Nikolai is 263 miles into the nearly 1,000-mile race.

Burmeister told race officials he planned to stay and rest.

He was followed into the checkpoint about 30 minutes later by Ryan Redington. Then came Richie Diehl at 8:29 a.m., Brent Sass at 9:12 a.m., defending champion Dallas Seavey at 9:24 a.m. and Michelle Phillips at 9:25 a.m.

A musher in a green jacket
Ryan Redington in the the Finger Lake checkpoint early Monday. Finger Lake is about 125 miles into the 1,000-mile Iditarod. (Jeff Chen/Alaska Public Media)

By 11 a.m., Travis Beals, Jessie Holmes, Mitch Seavey, Hugh Neff and Paige Drobny had also made their way to Nikolai.

Nearly all of them were resting at the checkpoint, except for Sass and Dallas Seavey.

Sass spent just eight minutes at Nikolai before racing out at 9:20 a.m. Seavey gave chase eight minutes later. They’re headed to McGrath, about 48 miles away.

The race started Sunday in Willow. The winner is expected sometime early next week in Nome, on Alaska’s western coast.

The Associated Press contributed reporting to this story.

Image at top: Aaron Burmeister walking into Unalakleet in the 2020 Iditarod Trail Race. Photo by Sophia Sesalvo, KNOM.

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