Martin Buser, the four-time Iditarod champion from Big Lake, Alaska, reached the mighty Yukon River early Friday morning when he pulled into the Anvik checkpoint at 2:17 a.m. Tired from the grueling trip from Shageluk, Buser enjoyed a special meal that greets the first musher to the Yukon and then grabbed a little rest along with his dogs.

Every Iditarod musher must stop for an eight-hour rest somewhere on the Yukon River, and Buser didn't see any reason to postpone his break. He was nursing a lead of several hours, even though by dawn he was technically in second place.

Last year's runner-up, Aily Zirkle of Two Rivers, coasted in and out of Anvik about dawn on Friday. Once Buser ends his rest late Friday morning -- and other mushers begin theirs -- expect the Big Lake icon to reassume the lead.

"The most important trend I am seeing is the speed of Buser," former Iditarod champion Joe Runyan wrote on the Iditarod Insider.

For more updates, check out Alaska Dispatch's Iditablog