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57 Teams Leave Willow, Kaiser Pulls Ahead

At 2 p.m. this afternoon, all 57 teams left Willow, AK to start the 2020 Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

Departures were in two minutes increments. Martin Massicotte of Canada, a rookie this year, was the first to depart right at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Pete Kaiser of Bethel left at 2:14 p.m. in 8th position, but, according to the GPS tracker, he was quick to take the lead on the trail.

Teams follow the Northern Route trail on even years. Yentna, more specifically the Yentna Station Roadhouse, is the first checkpoint on this year’s trail. It is located 42 miles from Willow.

During the 6pm Iditarod Update on KNOM, Emily Hofstaedter shared that trail conditions are expected to be snowy on the way there.

Listen to the full 6pm KNOM Iditarod Update here:

Rick Thoman with the UAF Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy shared more on what mushers can expect on this first stretch of trail.

Listen here: