Quince Mountain, a Wisconsin rookie in the Red Lantern position, was withdrawn from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Wednesday by race officials, who cited the race rule regarding competitiveness.
Mountain, 32, was the last musher to reach Unalakleet, arriving around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, 10 hours after anyone else.
Mountain’s wife, Blair Braverman, said on Twitter that Iditarod officials want to close checkpoints early out of concern over the novel coronavirus, and that’s why Mountain was withdrawn. Braverman is a 2019 Iditarod finisher and a writer who is helping the Daily News cover this year’s race.
Mountain still had all 14 dogs in harness. He and the dogs are in good health, the race reported.
Mountain’s departure puts Tolsana rookie Dennis Kananowicz in position to win the Red Lantern, awarded to the Iditarod’s last-place finisher.