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Ten Iditarod XLII Mushers Off Trail as Lead Changes in Takotna

Published On: Mar 04 2014 09:40:24 PM AKST   Updated On: Mar 04 2014 09:44:26 PM AKST
Nine Iditarod XLII Mushers Off Trail as Lead Changes in Takotna

The leader of the 42nd annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has changed again Tuesday evening, as 10 mushers left the trail -- including the race’s first withdrawal this year.

According to the Iditarod Trail Committee, race officials withdrew Perryville, Canada musher Karen Ramstead at 6:40 p.m. in Rohn. Her departure from the field follows the 1 p.m. scratch of Jake Berkowitz, following a crash that irreparably damaged his sled, and the 7:06 p.m. Rohn scratch of Cindy Abbott due to a shoulder strain.

“While Ramstead wanted to continue the race, she was withdrawn due to an injury deemed too significant to allow safe continuation in the race,” officials wrote. “She had 14 dogs in her team.”

According to a post on “Mushin’ Mortician” Scott Janssen’s Facebook page, he was injured in a Tuesday wreck between Rohn and Nikolai.

“Earlier this evening Scott had a bad crash and has broken his leg,” Janssen team members wrote. “He was unable to even stand up after it happened.”

Fellow musher Newton Marshall was able to pick Janssen up and get him to a safety shelter between the two checkpoints. His dogs were reportedly in good condition.

“Scott has pressed his rescue button and is awaiting the Iditarod rescue,” team members wrote. “He is doing as well as can be expected. He was able to call (his wife) Debbie from the safety shelter.”

In action at the head of the pack, Aliy Zirkle’s overtake of Sonny Lindner in McGrath Tuesday afternoon was eclipsed in Takotna, with Nicolas Petit passing Zirkle at that checkpoint at 8:35 p.m. Race standings at 9:30 p.m. show only two other teams have reached Takotna, with Aaron Burmeister arriving at 8:45 p.m. and Robert Sorlie following suit at 9:24 p.m.

Seven other mushers of the race’s 69 teams had already scratched from the race as of Tuesday afternoon, amid poor trail conditions in the Farewell Burn from Rohn to Nikolai.