Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race update
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commenced a few days ago, and already there has been some action in the "last great race on Earth."
King was also the first out, three minutes after checking in, and is currently listed in fourth place.
Of the 71 teams that started, five are out of the race, including one involving an accident that left the musher unconscious.
-- Michael Suprenant, 45, of Chugiak, Alaska, was the first to scratch and did so for medical reasons. He still had all 16 of his dogs still in harness.
-- Musher Zoya DeNure, also scratched for medical reasons. DeNure, 33, from Gakona, Alaska, had 15 dogs still in her team when she scratched.
-- Karin Hendrickson, 39, of Chugiak, Alaska, scratched because of equipment problems and damage to her sled. All 16 of the dogs that started the race with Hendrickson were still in her team.
-- Kirk Barnum, of Seeley Lake, Mont., was down to 12 dogs when he scratched at Rainy Pass. Barnum, 41, said his dogs were tired and scratched to protect them.
More dramatic was the crash that ended the efforts of rookie musher Pat Moon from Chicago. Moon was knocked unconscious in a collision with a tree in the Dalzell Gorge, reports the Anchorage Daily News.
Moon, 33, was about a third of the way down the notoriously steep and twisty gorge when the collision took place.
"When I talked to Pat, he said it was in an area where he was surprised it happened," said race marshal Mark Nordman. "It was just like, 'Wham!' He doesn't remember hitting a tree."
Belgian musher Sam Deltour came upon Moon and his team after the incident. Deltour, a medical student, attended to the unconscious Moon and then checked on his team. By the time the 24-year-old veteran got back to Moon, the musher had regained consciousness.
"He skinned his face up a bit" but otherwise wasn't hurt beyond the knock to his head," Nordman said.
Moon was transported to Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, where he was listed in good condition Tuesday night. His sled team of 15 dogs were not injured and were also flown out.
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Iditarod rookie Pat Moon hugs his favorite dog, Hera, as
Lumber, left, places a paw on him as they await the start of the
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Credit: Bill Roth / Anchorage
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