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Burmeister leads string of mushers across Burn

Kevin Klott
Musher Cim Smyth of Big Lake arrives at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Kristy Berington, left, and twin sister Anna Berington, right, pack up their sleds as they prepare to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Allen Moore of Two Rivers leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs curls up to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Mike Ellis of Two Rivers eats french toast for breakfast while resting his dog team at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Ellis said it was neat being parked near world class dog teams like John Baker and Dallas Seavey.
Bill Roth
Scott Janssen of Anchorage negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Robert Bundtzen of Anchorage drives his team past cabins at Winterlake Lodge at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Sonny Lindner of Two Rivers snacks his dogs before leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Allen Moore of Two Rivers leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Matt Giblin puts booties on leader Kenya before leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Veterinarian Lee Morgan of Washington, D.C., examines a sled dog at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Scott Janssen of Anchorage heads down the trail after leaving the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Kristy Berington's descends a steep section of trail outside the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jodi Bailey drives her dog team out of the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jessie Royer leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs crawls into a sleeping bag to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Brownie, foreground, a sled dog in Mike Surenant's team from Chugiak rests at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Sled dogs in Anna Berington's team negotiate a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Rudy Demoski, Sr., of Wasilla negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Canadian Aaron Peck negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Last year's champion Dallas Seavey leaves the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Wade Marrs, center, gets directions to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs sets an alarm clock before curling up to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Musher Anna Berington negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Newton Marshall of St. Anne, Jamaica, puts booties on leader Dixie prior to leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday evening, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Scott Janssen of Anchorage negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Robert Bundtzen of Anchorage drives his team past cabins at Winterlake Lodge at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Cim Smyth of Big Lake arrives at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Angie Taggart gets some rest in a musher tent at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Leaders in Jessica Hendricks's dog team negotiate a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs curls up to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Scott Janssen of Anchorage heads down the trail after leaving the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Kristy Berington's descends a steep section of trail outside the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Sonny Lindner of Two Rivers snacks his dogs before leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Rookie Luan Marques of Brazil rests on his sled while his dog team sleeps at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jessica Hendricks of Two Rivers negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Matt Giblin puts booties on leader Kenya before leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Sled dogs in Anna Berington's team negotiate a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Rudy Demoski, Sr., of Wasilla negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jodi Bailey drives her dog team out of the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks tends to his dog team at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs crawls into a sleeping bag to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Musher Anna Berington negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Newton Marshall of St. Anne, Jamaica, puts booties on leader Dixie prior to leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday evening, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Canadian Aaron Peck negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks puts booties on a leader named Regret while preparing to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs sets an alarm clock before curling up to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Angie Taggart gets some rest in a musher tent at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Leaders in Jessica Hendricks's dog team negotiate a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs curls up to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Scott Janssen of Anchorage negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Allen Moore of Two Rivers leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Mike Ellis of Two Rivers eats french toast for breakfast while resting his dog team at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Ellis said it was neat being parked near world class dog teams like John Baker and Dallas Seavey.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Rookie Luan Marques of Brazil rests on his sled while his dog team sleeps at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jessica Hendricks of Two Rivers negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Matt Giblin puts booties on leader Kenya before leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Scott Janssen of Anchorage heads down the trail after leaving the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Allen Moore of Two Rivers leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Veterinarian Lee Morgan of Washington, D.C., examines a sled dog at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks tends to his dog team at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs crawls into a sleeping bag to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Sled dogs in Anna Berington's team negotiate a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Brownie, foreground, a sled dog in Mike Surenant's team from Chugiak rests at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks puts booties on a leader named Regret while preparing to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs sets an alarm clock before curling up to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Roalofs, a pediatric dentist in Anchorage, said she "only got one hour of rest " on her first night on the Iditarod trail.
Bill Roth
Musher Anna Berington negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Wade Marrs, center, gets directions to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Kristy Berington, left, and twin sister Anna Berington, right, pack up their sleds as they prepare to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Allen Moore of Two Rivers leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Mike Ellis of Two Rivers eats french toast for breakfast while resting his dog team at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. Ellis said it was neat being parked near world class dog teams like John Baker and Dallas Seavey.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Angie Taggart gets some rest in a musher tent at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Leaders in Jessica Hendricks's dog team negotiate a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Cim Smyth of Big Lake arrives at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Kristy Berington, left, and twin sister Anna Berington, right, pack up their sleds as they prepare to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Allen Moore of Two Rivers leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Veterinarian Lee Morgan of Washington, D.C., examines a sled dog at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News Rookie Luan Marques of Brazil rests on his sled while his dog team sleeps at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jessica Hendricks of Two Rivers negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Sonny Lindner of Two Rivers snacks his dogs before leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Brownie, foreground, a sled dog in Mike Surenant's team from Chugiak rests at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks tends to his dog team at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jodi Bailey drives her dog team out of the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Jessie Royer leaves the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Musher Wade Marrs, center, gets directions to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Kristy Berington, left, and twin sister Anna Berington, right, pack up their sleds as they prepare to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Ken Anderson of Fairbanks puts booties on a leader named Regret while preparing to leave the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Newton Marshall of St. Anne, Jamaica, puts booties on leader Dixie prior to leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday evening, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Canadian Aaron Peck negotiates a steep drop off in the trail leaving the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth
Last year's champion Dallas Seavey leaves the Iditarod checkpoint at Finger Lake on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013.
Bill Roth

 

UPDATE 6:15 AM TUESDAY:

 

While Monday’s trail bosses Martin Buser and Matt Failor remained stationed in Rohn, some familiar faces emerged as new leaders along the Farewell Burn overnight to begin the third day of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

 

It appears as though Aaron Burmeister has taken the role as the rabbit of a giant pack of drivers that have left Rohn and are headed to Nikolai, a tiny village nestled on the banks of the South Fork Kuskokwim River.

 

Among those trying to hunt down the 36-year-old from Nome are two smaller groups of racers. One is made of two Fairbanks mushers, Lance Mackey and Ally Zirkle, as well as Paul Gebhardt of Kasilof. Behind them are two packs of two: Fairbanks’ Sonny Lindner and Willow’s Justin Savidis, and Sterling’s Mitch Seavey and Wasilla’s Jason Mackey.

 

According to the Iditarod’s GPS trackers, Burmeister is 8 to 10 miles in front of Mackey, Zirkle and Gebhardt.

 

Between the checkpoints of Rohn and Nikolai, Burmeister and his followers are facing an 80-mile stretch of flat trail that beelines across nasty tussocks, bare gravel bars and the dead-tree remnants of one of Alaska’s biggest wildfires. This terrain is what people sometimes just call “The Burn” — and some years it is aptly named.

 

In good years, the Farewell Burn offers up a snowy highway across frozen lakes, through willow patches and alongside the remnants of a forest that burned decades ago. In bad years, it can be 80 miles of slippery ice, dusty gravel and sled-busting stumps.

 

Race marshal Mark Nordman reported there are stretches of windblown trail outside of Rohn with little or no snow, which isn’t anything unusual for that region of Alaska, and glare ice along the lakes.

 

“Otherwise it’s good snow all the way,” he said.

 

As of 6:15 this morning, 35 mushers have left Rohn and are headed to Nikolai, 17 mushers are in Rohn keeping Buser and Failor company while they finish their mandatory 24-hour layover, three are heading up and over Rainy Pass, and the remaining nine are still at the Rainy Pass checkpoint at Puntilla Lake.

 

Headed home: Anchorage’s Scott Janssen on Monday night became the first musher to scratch in the 41st running of the Iditarod. The Mushing Mortician called it quits at the Rainy Pass checkpoint out of concern for his dogs and their performance.

 

The 51-year-old who owns funeral homes in the Anchorage Bowl was racing in his third Iditarod. Last year he finished 38th and the previous year 42nd.

More Iditarod coverage
Iditarod Live: Photos
By KEVIN KLOTT
Anchorage Daily News