Nic Petit leads Kobuk 440 at Ambler checkpoint, nearing race’s halfway mark
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Kobuk 440 sled dog race is underway, and veteran musher Nic Petit is out to an early lead, arriving at the Ambler checkpoint in first place as the race approaches the halfway point.
The Big Lake musher had 11 dogs when he arrived to Ambler, checking in at 1:54 p.m. He was followed by Gunnar Johnson and Tony Browning, who both arrived at 3:13 p.m.
Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King reached the Ambler checkpoint 13 minutes after Johnson and Browning. Ryan Redington followed King into the Ambler checkpoint, holding fifth place. Redington’s run of the Kobuk 440 follows his career-best finish in the Iditarod, during which he took 7th place.
The Kobuk 440 prides itself on being the “toughest race above the Arctic Circle,” and this year’s race began in Kotzebue, taking the Kobuk River east through Noorvik, Kiana, Ambler, and Shugnak to Kobuk.
The return trail takes mushers through Ambler to Selawik, Noorvik, and finally, the finish line, which is also in Kotzebue.
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