Two-time and defending Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey talks about his race while tending to his dog team in Koyuk on Tuesday, March 16, 2015.

Suzanna Caldwell

Defending Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Dallas Seavey clung to his lead in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday as soft, punchy snow on the trail across Norton Bay slowed what had been a blistering run toward Nome.

Loren Holmes
Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race leaders hit tough sledding on Norton Bay, but Dallas Seavey moved into position to win the leg with a strong team of dogs capable of moving quickly. He made up an hour and a half on Aaron Burmeister on Monday. Suzanna Caldwell,Craig Medred
Only two groups have emerged as traveling companions in this Iditarod: brothers Jason and Lance Mackey, who have been together since Tanana, and the Berington twins -- Anna and Kristy -- and Charlie Bejna.  John Schandelmeier
After Dallas Seavey blew through Unalakleet to take the lead from Nome's Aaron Burmeister, Burmeister did the same to Seavey in Shaktoolik. Alaska Dispatch News
As the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race sped up the Bering Sea Coast Sunday night, four-time champ Jeff King was here resting his team and laughing at the twists of fate.Suzanna Caldwell and Craig Medred

Race leading mushers arrive in Unalakleet along the Norton Sound coast on Sunday, March 15, 2015.

Alaska Dispatch News
Defending Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champ Dallas Seavey stormed to the lead along the Bering Sea Coast. His move to the front started all the way back in Kaltag.Craig Medred,Suzanna Caldwell
Marrs was the 11th musher out of Kaltag on Sunday morning, and he’d been hopping in and out of the top 10 over the last several days. With his short-run, short-rest strategy, Marrs appeared to be setting up his team of 11 remaining dogs for a strong finish.Suzanna Caldwell

Clear and cold -- that's been the theme so far during this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. The biting cold makes things tough for mushers, but the clear skies mean brilliant northern lights.

Alaska Dispatch News