Burmeister first Iditarod musher to reach Nikolai

    Aaron Burmeister, number 23. (Photo credit: Iditarod.)

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Aaron Burmeister has the early lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

    Burmeister was the first musher Tuesday to check in to race officials in the village of Nikolai, which is 263 miles into the nearly 1,000 mile race.

    He was followed into the checkpoint about 30 minutes later by Ryan Redington.

    Rounding out the top five so far are Richie Diehl, Mitch Seavey and defending champion Dallas Seavey.

    The race is in its early stages yet.

    A large chunk of the 49-musher field are behind the top five, all making their way to Nikolai.

    The race start Sunday in Willow.

    The winner is expected sometime early next week in Nome.

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