Norway's Joar Leifseth Ulsom claimed the Iditarod's halfway prize Wednesday night when he reached the race's namesake checkpoint with a full team of 16 dogs.
Ulsom reached Iditarod, an abandoned mining town, at 8:28 p.m. He's expected to take his 24-hour layover there.
Ulsom charged past McGrath and Takotna – two spots where many mushers are spending their mandatory 24-hour rests – on his way to Iditarod. He was awarded $3,000 in gold nuggets for being the first musher to hit the halfway point.
In five previous Iditarods, Ulsom has never finished lower than seventh. He placed fourth last year and in 2014, was sixth in 2016 and 2015, and placed seventh in his rookie run in 2013.