Martin Buser was the first musher to check in, and Western Alaska’s Pete Kaiser was the first to check out of Manley Hot Springs Tuesday morning, the second checkpoint along this year’s Iditarod Trail from Fairbanks to Nome.
Out of Manley, the trail stretches west along the Tanana River to the town of the same name, population 300. In Manley, mushers beamed, enjoying the sunlight that offered a respite for their dogs from the bitter cold temperatures that have carried through the race so far this year. Anna Berrington, pictured, said, “My dog team hasn’t been in cold like that since New Years’ Day. I think it zapped them a little bit. So they’re just happy to be laying in the sun right now.”
Martin Buser ran the next 66 miles of trail in 6 hours, leading the race out of Manley to Tanana, where he chose to declare his mandatory 8-hour layover.