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Fast times highlight Day 1 of Rondy World Championship

Mike Dunham
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer prepares to take off from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Egil Ellis of Willow passes the office buildings of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow passes through a tunnel near Alaska Native Medical Center. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, waves to fans on Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer waits for the racing to begin downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow shouts commands. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Taylor of Fairbanks laughs with handlers that hold his sled at the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Ronja As handles dogs for Jack Berry's team. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, waves to fans on Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer prepares to take off from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Egil Ellis of Willow passes the office buildings of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Arleigh Reynolds of Fairbanks prepares his team for racing. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Ronja As handles dogs for Jack Berry's team. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer waits for the racing to begin downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow shouts commands. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Arleigh Reynolds of Fairbanks prepares his team for racing. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, waves to fans on Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer prepares to take off from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Robert Worden of Mexico, New York, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Ronja As handles dogs for Jack Berry's team. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer waits for the racing to begin downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marvin Kokrine of North Pole drives his dogs from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Robert Worden of Mexico, New York, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Arleigh Reynolds of Fairbanks prepares his team for racing. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, waves to fans on Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris of Willow runs a team of Siberian huskies. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marvin Kokrine of North Pole drives his dogs from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Ronja As handles dogs for Jack Berry's team. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Brent Beck of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, gets her team set to race. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris of Willow runs a team of Siberian huskies. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Robert Worden of Mexico, New York, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Arleigh Reynolds of Fairbanks prepares his team for racing. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris drives a team of Siberian huskies down Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, gets her team set to race. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marvin Kokrine of North Pole drives his dogs from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Sellentin of Willow rounds a bend near University Lake. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Brent Beck of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris of Willow runs a team of Siberian huskies. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Robert Worden of Mexico, New York, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow passes through a tunnel near Alaska Native Medical Center. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris drives a team of Siberian huskies down Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Sellentin of Willow rounds a bend near University Lake. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Brent Beck of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, gets her team set to race. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marvin Kokrine of North Pole drives his dogs from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Taylor of Fairbanks laughs with handlers that hold his sled at the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow passes through a tunnel near Alaska Native Medical Center. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris drives a team of Siberian huskies down Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris of Willow runs a team of Siberian huskies. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Egil Ellis of Willow passes the office buildings of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Taylor of Fairbanks laughs with handlers that hold his sled at the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Sellentin of Willow rounds a bend near University Lake. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Brent Beck of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, leaves the starting line downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Marie-Anick Elie of Inuvik, Northwest Territories, gets her team set to race. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow shouts commands. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Egil Ellis of Willow passes the office buildings of Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow passes through a tunnel near Alaska Native Medical Center. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News John Norris drives a team of Siberian huskies down Fourth Avenue. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer prepares to take off from the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Nathan Sterling of Willow shouts commands. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Taylor of Fairbanks laughs with handlers that hold his sled at the starting line. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Greg Sellentin of Willow rounds a bend near University Lake. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News Jack Berry of Homer waits for the racing to begin downtown. The Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race began on Friday, February 22, 2013, and raced a 24.8-mile course on the streets and trails of Anchorage.
Marc Lester

Arleigh Reynolds clocked the fastest time on the first day of the Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race on Friday. The Salcha-based musher, who finished fourth in last year's Rondy race, was more than a minute faster than his closest rival, five-time winner Egil Ellis of Willow, and had a two minute edge on last year's defending champion, Ken Chezik of Fife Lake, Mich.

In the 2011 race, Reynolds also led Ellis by just over a minute after the first day's run, but Ellis won the three-day race with the fastest combined times.

Good snow conditions and a shortened trail contributed to fast times this year. Last year's fastest Day 1 time was 88:46, which Chezik set, 8 minutes longer than his third place finish on Friday. Veteran Marvin Kokrine's middle of the pack run of 99 minutes in 2012 was close to the slowest first day time in this year's race, turned in by John Norris of Willow. Reynold won the first day heat in 2011 with a time of 91:45.

Race Marshall Janet Clarke said a route alteration was necessary because a high water table in the back country approaching the pipeline corridor, a section mushers call the Muldoon Swamp, created poor conditions this year. Even with recent snow and repeated attempts by groomers to set the trail, "the snow was not Rondy quality," she said.

This year's run connects a short-cut leg along Campbell Airstrip Road with trails leading to Campbell Airstrip itself. It puts a "loop-de-loop roller coaster ride" into the course, Clarke said. To make up for the distance eliminated in the swamp, an additional loop has been added southwest of Campbell Airstrip. The overall distance is slightly less than the traditional course, which Clarke said has been nearly 28 miles in recent years, but it is still near the 25 mile mark generally given as the length of each day's run.

Where the swamp featured straightaways suitable for speed and passing, the added loop features blind turns coming on the heels of the wide-open Airstrip section. Clarke said she thought the rapid shift between different terrains created a "more challenging, more technical" route this year.

The second day of the race will start at noon on Saturday at 4th Ave. and D St. in downtown Anchorage. Mushers will leave in two minute intervals in reverse order of their first day finish times.

 

Fur Rendezvous Open World Championship Sled Dog Race results, Day 1

 

Arleigh Reynolds, Salcha, 77:47

Egil Ellis, Willow, 79:09

Ken Chezik, Fife Lake, Mich., 80:09

Greg Sellentin, Willow, 82:39

Kevin Raymond Cook, Preeceville, Saskatchewan, Canada, 82:49

Jack Berry, Homer, 84:23

Marvin Kokrine, North Pole, 84:41

Greg Taylor, Fairbanks, 85:03

Robert Worden, Mexico, NY, 85:51

Marie-Anick Elie, Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada, 86:25

Nathan Sterling, Willow, 88:06

John Erhart, Tanana, 89:43

Brent Beck, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, 95:46

John Norris, Willow, 99:39

 

More Fur Rendezvous coverage is at adn.com/rondy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reach Mike Dunham at mdunham@adn.com or 257-4332.


By MIKE DUNHAM
mdunham@adn.com