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After speedy run to Rohn, Buser takes layover early

Kevin Klott,Beth Bragg
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Katherine Keith puts booties on one of John Baker’s sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News A member of a Japanese film crew, Kenichiro Takahashi, poses with Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit’s mascot Ugly before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Barb Redington wears a hat, which she decorated to celebrate the 40th Iditarod before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race, the 41st running of the race, in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. The hat belonged to her late mother-in-law Vi Redington, wife of race founder Joe Redington. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Kiki Storms, from Unalakleet, and Loureli Kinneen, from Nome, pose with Iditarod Musher Martin Buser, before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Nedra Anderson and Tim Pine take care of the barbecue grill by the John Baker team parking spot before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Dog harnesses hang at the ready on the back of Dallas Seavey’s dog truck before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Kristy Berington, from Kasilof, AK, put booties on her sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Kristy Berington and Paul Gebhardt, from Kasilof, AK, put booties on their sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Paul Gebhardt, from Kasilof, AK, put booties on his sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod Musher Justin Savidis, from Willow, AK, grabs his boots before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Martin Buser, from Big Lake, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Martin Buser, from Big Lake, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Jodi Bailey, from Chatanika, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Melissa Danielson, from Jonesborough, TN, watches the start of 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Cindy Gallea, from Wykoff, MN, reaches out to race fans at the start of 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Cindy Gallea, from Wykoff, MN, reaches out to race fans at the start of 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News DeeDee Jonrowe, of Willow, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Mitch Seavey, from Seward, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Mitch Seavey, from Seward, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Christine Roalofs, from Anchorage, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Dave Cucullu, Wendy Cucullu, Gaye Crawford and Bill Crawford watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Race fans watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 as musher Curt Perano, from Queenstown, New Zealand, crosses Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Race fans watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 as musher Michael Williams Jr., from Akiak, AK, crosses Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Race fans watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 as musher Luan Marques, from Macae, Brazil, crosses Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Race fans watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 at Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Race fans Linda Erickson, Bill Finke and Megan Finke watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 as musher Mike Ellis, from Two Rivers, AK, crosses Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Race fans watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 as Iditarod mushers Cim Smyth, from Big Lake, AK and Ray Redington, from Wasilla, AK, cross Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Race fans watch the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 as musher Aaron Peck from Bezanson, Alberta, Canada, crosses Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News 80-year-old Eileen Ruiz, from Carpinteria, CA, watches the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013 as musher Richie Diehl, of Aniak, AK, crosses Vera Lake. 130303
Bob Hallinen
Travis Beals, of Seward, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
John Baker, from Kozebue, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Paige Drobny, of Fairbanks, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Nicolas Petit, of Girdwood, AK, pulls out a camera to make photographs as he heads out the starting chute of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Fans watch as Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Kristy Berington, of Kasilof, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Travis Beals, of Seward, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen, of Anchorage, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Aaron Burmeister, of Nome, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Kelly Maixner, of Big Lake, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Aliy Zirkle, of Two Rivers, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
DeeDee Jonrowe, of Willow, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Karin Hendrickson, of Wasilla, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Justin Savidis, of Willow, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Fans watch as Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Fans watch as Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Bob Chlupach, of Willow, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Krista Elias, of Wasilla, walks her English bull dog Winston to warm him up as Iditarod musher David Sawatzky pass by on the start day of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Wade Marrs of Wasilla, AK, gets a high five as he starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Matt Giblin, of Sterling, AK, mushes by as Glenda Ellis, form Eagle River, AK, and Matt Melton, of Anchorage, AK, stand by the stove on skies built from a kit by Mike Ruiz, of Eagle River, AK near the start the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Musher James Volek, from Big Lake, AK, has his dogs micro chips, scanned by vet tech Kim Knapp, from Big Lake, AK, before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Rudy Demoski, Sr. chops a snow hook anchor hole into the lake ice before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Rudy Demoski, Sr. and vet tech Kimberly McGreedy check the micro chips in Demoski's dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Handler Megan Luke slides new plastic onto the runners of Iditarod mush Aliy Zerkle's sled before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Is this yet another innovation from Iditarod musher Jeff King, from Denali, AK, as he talks with fellow musher Jason Mackey before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. King joked that he should leave the fan on his sled when he went up to the start line.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod musher Nicholas Petit gets his gear ready as handler Aaron Long dishes up a meal for the team and mascot Ugly rests on the back of the dog trailer before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Bill Roth / Anchorage Daily News Chefs Mandy Dixon and Matthew Murphy prepare homemade ice cream and cones for the annual ice cream social celebration for Iditarod Vets and Checkers as they wait for mushers to arrive at Winterlake Lodge at the Finger Lake checkpoint. Lodge owner Carl Dixon, center, looks on Sunday evening, March 3, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Katherine Keith puts booties on one of John BakerÕs sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Michelle Phillips, of Tagish, Yukon, Canada, leaves the start line of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Krista Elias, of Wasilla, walks her English bull dog Winston to warm him up as Iditarod musher David Sawatzky pass by on the start day of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
As Iditarod musher Jessica Hendricks, of Two Rivers, AK pass by co workers of Iditarod Musher Kelley Maixner, at Aesthetic Family Dentistry, have a party on the lake on the start day of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013.
Bob Hallinen
Jeff King, of Denali, AK gets high fives in the start chute as he leaves the starting line of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives they dog team down the start chute across Willow Lake during the Iditarod Restart on Sunday, Mar. 2, 2013. Sixty-five mushers hit the Iditarod Trail on a 1,000 mile journey across the Alaska wilderness to the race finish in Nome.
Bill Roth
Mitch Seavey, of Seward, AK, walks to the head of his team at the starting line of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
Musher Anna Berington, left, pulls her dog team up to the start line as Jessie Royer, right, talks to her leaders during the Iditarod Restart in Willow on Sunday, Mar. 2, 2013. Sixty-five mushers hit the Iditarod Trail on a 1,000 mile journey across the Alaska wilderness to the race finish in Nome.
Bill Roth
A musher waves to cheering fans gathered on Long Lake during the Iditarod Restart in Willow on Sunday, Mar. 2, 2013. Sixty-five mushers hit the Iditarod Trail on a 1,000 mile journey across the Alaska wilderness to the race finish in Nome.
Bill Roth
Scott Janssen, of Anchorage, gets high fives from his handlers as he leaves the starting line of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
Three mushers cross Vera Lake during the Iditarod Restart in Willow on Sunday, Mar. 2, 2013. Sixty-five mushers hit the Iditarod Trail on a 1,000 mile journey across the Alaska wilderness to the race finish in Nome.
Bill Roth
Dallas Seavey, of Willow, AK, leaves the starting line of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
James Volek, of Big Lake, AK, pulls one on his dogs out of the dog truck before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. Volek is running Martin BuserÕs puppy team in the race. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Katherine Keith puts booties on one of John Baker’s sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News A member of a Japanese film crew, Kenichiro Takahashi, poses with Iditarod musher Nicolas Petit’s mascot Ugly before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Barb Redington wears a hat, which she decorated to celebrate the 40th Iditarod before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race, the 41st running of the race, in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. The hat belonged to her late mother-in-law Vi Redington, wife of race founder Joe Redington. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Kiki Storms, from Unalakleet, and Loureli Kinneen, from Nome, pose with Iditarod Musher Martin Buser, before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Nedra Anderson and Tim Pine take care of the barbecue grill by the John Baker team parking spot before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Dog harnesses hang at the ready on the back of Dallas Seavey’s dog truck before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Kristy Berington, from Kasilof, AK, put booties on her sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Kristy Berington and Paul Gebhardt, from Kasilof, AK, put booties on their sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Paul Gebhardt, from Kasilof, AK, put booties on his sled dogs before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod Musher Justin Savidis, from Willow, AK, grabs his boots before the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Martin Buser, from Big Lake, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Martin Buser, from Big Lake, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod musher Jodi Bailey, from Chatanika, AK, starts the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod mushers head out on the trail at the start of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, AK on Sunday, March 3, 2013. 130303
Bob Hallinen

Martin Buser turned the Iditarod on its head Monday.

Defying conventional wisdom, Buser shook up the race on its first full day by making a nearly nonstop, 169-mile run from the start line in Willow to the first checkpoint on the northern side of the Alaska Range.

Buser, a 54-year-old four-time champion from Big Lake, reached Rohn at the ungodly hour of 9:53 a.m. Monday -- ungodly because no one remembers a musher reaching the checkpoint so early in the 1,000-mile race to Nome.

Buser told the Iditarod Insider that he would take his mandatory 24-hour layover in Rohn.

That allowed several mushers, a group led by Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof and Aliy Zirkle of Two Rivers, to race past Buser on Monday night. They all will take their mandatory 24s somewhere closer to the Yukon River.

Buser's sprint to Rohn was confounding -- he made the run in a little less than 20 hours, stopping at the four previous checkpoints for a total of 79 minutes.

"My buddy Martin is doing something different, which is neat to see," 2011 champion John Baker of Kotzebue said while taking a break in Finger Lake, two checkpoints before Rohn.

"He wants to win," Baker added. "I love that about him."

Whether the opening gambit becomes known as Buser's fifth victory or Buser's folly, no one knows.

Typically the Iditarod frontrunner reaches Rohn on Monday evening. In 2011, the year Baker set the race record, Robert Bundtzen was the first to reach Rohn, arriving at 5:17 p.m. In 2002, the year Buser set the record that Baker went on to break, Buser led the way to Rohn at 7:25 p.m.

This time, Buser got there before 10 a.m. and rested his team during the heat of the day. Back at Finger Lake, temperatures climbed to nearly 30 degrees, so warm that one mid-pack musher spotted mosquitoes in the dog yard.

While making repairs to his sled in Rohn, Buser told Iditarod Insider that he started racing with the idea of opening with one long run and then putting things on pause for 24 hours.

"The strategy is to get away from everyone else and try something new that's not been tried before," he said. "It might work. Then again, it might not."

The plan, he said, is to go fast and furious, stop for a day, then go fast again.

"The goal is to get off the 24 with as much speed as we started the race," he told Iditarod Insider. "When we take our 24 later, we never seem to be able to do that. So I'm gonna try that. I think it might work."

Buser drew the race's No. 1 start position, which means his 24 hours in Rohn will be more like 26 hours. Mushers leave the start in two-minute intervals, and times are adjusted when a musher takes his 24-hour layover.

Following a similar plan is Matt Failor of Big Lake, who's driving Buser's B team. Failor was the second musher to reach Rohn, arriving at 2:11 p.m.

"They probably didn't expect us to do this," Failor told Iditarod Insider while tending to his dogs in Rohn.

The makeup of Buser's team changed last month when his son, 2012 Kusko 300 champion Rohn Buser, withdrew from the race. The two train together at Buser's Happy Trails Kennel, and when Rohn pulled out of the race, Martin blended six of his son's dogs with eight of his own for what, for now, is looking like a super team.

Buser and Failor had Rohn to themselves for most of Monday.

Company finally arrived at 7:15 p.m. in the form of Gebhardt, who left at 7:26.

Zirkle, last year's runnerup, got there at 7:18 and left at 7:30 p.m.

By 10 p.m. Monday, 23 mushers had reached Rohn and nine mushed straight through. That group included four-time champion Jeff King of Denali Park, who left at 8:05 p.m., and 2004 champion Mitch Seavey, who left at 8:56 p.m. Michelle Phillips left between those two at 8:36 p.m.

Among the frontrunners, Seavey posted the fastest time between Rainy Pass and Rohn, making the run in 3 hours, 58 minutes. Nicolas Petit did it in 4:09, allowing him to leave Rohn in eighth place. Zirkle clocked 4:10, King 4:12, Buser 4:13 and sixth-place Ray Redington Jr. 4:14.

On the run from Finger Lake to Rainy Pass, Seavey had the fastest time at 3:20, followed by King at 3:21. Buser did it in 3:39.

 

 

 

 

 

  Reach Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or 257-4335.

 

 

More Iditarod coverage
Iditarod standings
By KEVIN KLOTT and BETH BRAGG
Anchorage Daily News