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Outdoors/Adventure

Girdwood musher Petit wins third race in a row

Last year's third-place Iditarod finisher is on a streak, winning the Tustumena 200 on Sunday to bag his third race in a row.

#24, Nicolas Petit, Girdwood, Alaska. (Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News)

Nicolas Petit of Girdwood, who finished in 26 hours, 26 minutes, said his dogs are maturing into a strong team.

"It's a dog team that's coming of age, that has been extremely competitive as very young dogs, and now we can let them run and have fun," he said.

The roughly 165-mile race began and ended in Ninilchik, traveling to McNeil Canyon Elementary School near Homer, with a loop mushers ran twice. The race usually begins in Kasilof, but a shortage of snow led to a modified course, Petit said.

'It was a good trail," he said. "The (organizers) worked hard to make sure there was no glare ice. They'd add snow or grind ice a bit with a big machine, so it wasn't slick."

Travis Beals finished second and Dave Turner finished third among 15 finishers. Three mushers scratched.

He said the wins bode well for his performance in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race that starts March 3.

"We'll have a good run," he said.

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