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Former Iditarod champion Pete Kaiser scratches from 2021 race

(KTUU)
Published: Mar. 13, 2021 at 11:00 AM AKST|Updated: Mar. 14, 2021 at 11:20 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Former Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Pete Kaiser, of Bethel, has scratched from this year’s race.

Kaiser, bib number three, scratched at 9 a.m. Saturday at the McGrath checkpoint, heading south.

A release from the Iditarod team says he made the decision to scratch “in the best interest of his race team.” He had 10 dogs in harness.

The Associated Press reports Kaiser’s dogs picked up a bug along the trail and were not doing well once they reached McGrath. Though Kaiser said the dogs could have finished, he said he didn’t feel they were competitive.

Kaiser was one of four former Iditarod champions in this year’s race. He claimed victory in 2019 crossing the finish line in 9 days, 12 hours, 39 minutes and 6 seconds. He has also won the Kuskokwim 300 five times.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include information from the Associated Press about the condition of Kaiser’s dogs.

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