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Iditarod musher Aliy Zirkle suffered injuries that knocked her out of the race and prompted race officials to summon rescue personnel Monday night to transport her from the Rohn checkpoint to Anchorage.
Zirkle was in stable condition and help from the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center was en route to Rohn, race marshal Mark Nordman said in a statement issued just before midnight.
Here is the statement from Nordman:
“At approximately 8 p.m. today, Iditarod veteran musher Aliy Zirkle (bib #32) of Two Rivers, Alaska, was injured while coming in to the Rohn checkpoint. Aliy is in stable condition but based on information provided by a volunteer with medical training, I notified the Alaska State Troopers and the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center for assistance. The Alaska RCC is airborne and en route to the checkpoint to pick up Aliy and will transport her to Anchorage for further evaluation. Her dog team is in Rohn and being well cared for by volunteers at the checkpoint.”
Zirkle, 50, had announced her retirement from competitive mushing prior to this year’s race. This was her 21st Iditarod.
“We don’t know much else yet, other than it happened on the trail between Rainy Pass and Rohn,” said a late-night post on the Facebook page for Zirkle’s kennel. “Communications out of Rohn are not great at the best of times due to the terrain.”
Zirkle’s husband, Allen Moore, was headed to Anchorage, the Facebook post said, and the dogs will be flown to Anchorage as soon as possible.
“We will update you when we know more,” the post said. “We are utterly devastated for Aliy and the dogs. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we process this information and find out more. This may take some time but we’ll keep you in touch.
ZIrkle is one of race’s most beloved racers, a three-time runnerup who has finished in the top 10 seven times.