Photos: Iditarod passes through White Mountain

Mitch Seavey and Aliy Zirkle put booties on their dogs in preparation for their last push to Nome. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey massages ointment into his lead dog Tanner's paw. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey in White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey, left, and his son Dallas Seavey talk about the race before Mitch leaves for the final push to Nome. Mitch is currently leading but Aliy Zirkle is not far behind. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey lines up his dogs before he leaves for Nome. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey leaving White Mountain. While he is currently leading, Aliy Zirkle is only 13 minutes behind. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey leaving White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Aliy Zirkle lining up her dogs before leaving White Mountain. She is only 13 minutes behind leader Mitch Seavey. March 12, 2013
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Aliy Zirkle leaving White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey arriving first into White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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An exhausted Mitch Seavey arrived first into White Mountain, followed closely by Aliy Zirkle. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey tending to his dogs in White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Aliy Zirkle arriving in White Mountain, 13 minutes behind leader Mitch Seavey. March 12, 2013
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Aliy Zirkle in White Mountain. Temperatures overnight fell to -10 degrees. March 12, 2013
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Aliy Zirkle encouraging her dogs in White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Quito, Aliy Zirkle's lead dog and the dog that lead Aliy's husband Allen Moore to first place in this year's Yukon Quest. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey struggles to stay awake while talking to reporters in White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey feeding his dogs in White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Aliy Zirkle signs autographs in White Mountain. March 12, 2013
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Mitch Seavey, with drop bags labeled "Old Man Seavey," in White Mountain. Also running this year is Mitch's son Dallas Seavey, who won the Iditarod in 2012. March 12, 2013
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In this 2 minute timelapse, headlamps paint a busy scene in White Mountain as leaders Mitch Seavey and Aliy Zirkle tend to their teams. March 12, 2013
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Leader Mitch Seavey falls asleep looking at the current standings inside the White Mountain checkpoint. March 12, 2013
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Loren Holmes

On Tuesday, Iditarod musher Aliy Zirkle came in to the White Mountain checkpoint at 5:24 a.m. -- just 13 minutes behind 2004 champion Mitch Seavey, the race leader. Both mushers immediately began an eight-hour mandatory layover before the final run to the finish line in Nome, the far-flung town in Western Alaska, popular these days for the backdrop to Discovery Channel's "Bering Sea Gold."

Zirkle, who hails from Two Rivers, Alaska, quickly closed the gap on Seavey during the 46-mile run from the village of Elim to White Mountain. Despite leaving hours behind Seavey, Zirkle took less rest in Elim and charged through the hilly terrain between the two checkpoints.

Seavey was noticeably more subdued coming into the checkpoint early Tuesday. He looked groggy, his face and moustache covered with ice. He moved slowly as he parked his dogs and laid out straw. The Sterling musher said his dogs were tired coming into the checkpoint. Seavey said he never saw Zirkle during his run to White Mountain. Zirkle said she didn't see Seavey either.

READ MORE: It's Aliy vs. Mitch, a duel in the sun to glory in Nome