ANCHORAGE, Alasak (AP) — Nearly a third of the 57 mushers in this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have quit the race before finishing, including a musher who activated an alert button seeking rescue Thursday morning because of weather conditions.
Thomas Waerner of Norway won this year’s race, crossing the finish line in Nome, Alaska, early Wednesday. Eighteen other mushers have completed the race by Thursday morning with another 20 still on the trail.
For musher Nicolas Petit, a native of France who now lives in Girdwood, Alaska, it’s the third straight year he’s encountered problems late in the race, including getting lost in a blizzard two years ago and his dogs quitting on him last year.
Petit on Thursday activated his alert button between the checkpoints of Elim and White Mountain, which is the second-to-last checkpoint in the race.
“In combination of weather and resulting trail conditions, Petit was not able to continue, and by activating his SOS, Petit scratched,” the Iditarod said in a statement.