Zirkle maintains Iditarod lead, reaches coast

9:23 PM, Mar 8, 2014   |    comments
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Aliy Zirkle of Two Rivers, Alaska, greets fans at the top of Cordova Street Hill during the ceremonial start for the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/The Anchorage Daily News, Erik Hill)



ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The first musher in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race has reached the west coast of Alaska.

Aliy Zirkle pulled into Unalakleet at 4:39 p.m. Saturday after a 90-mile run from Kaltag.

She had left the Yukon River community at 3:18 a.m. Saturday with a 2-hour, 16-minute lead over four-time champion Martin Buser.

The 44-year-old Zirkle of Two Rivers, Alaska, has been Iditarod runner-up for the last two years.

Iditarod officials say she is down to 11 dogs.

The trail from Unalakleet turns north for the final 261 miles to Nome.

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