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Kobuk 440 will restart Monday morning after ground storms on the Kobuk River paused race Sunday

A musher and his dog team during the 2021 Kobuk 440.
A musher and his dog team during the 2021 Kobuk 440.(Whitney Mc | Whitney McLaren)
Published: Apr. 4, 2021 at 10:36 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The 2021 Kobuk 440 was paused Sunday after ground storms hit the upper Kobuk River, causing whiteout conditions and poor visibility for mushers.

The race will restart at 2:00 a.m. on Monday, with all mushers departing from the Ambler checkpoint in order of original arrival times. They will also have an eight-hour mandatory rest on their return trips.

The trail back to Kotzebue has been rerouted due to weather, and will not go through Selawik because of blowing snow.

Instead, mushers will go through Kiana and Noorvik to Kotzebue, according to Kobuk 440 President Paul Hansen.

Storms shook up the race standings as well. Veteran musher Nic Petit was leading the race at the Kobuk checkpoint on Sunday, but he would soon withdraw after requesting help from the trail crew on his way to the Ambler checkpoint.

Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King also withdrew after using his SOS button five miles outside of the Shugnak checkpoint. Hansen said both mushers were battling ground storms.

Ryan Redington took over the lead of the race after becoming the only musher to complete the upper Kobuk River portion of the trail.

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