- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

TAKOTNA, ALASKA (AP) - Martin Buser is still the Iditarod leader, but a Norwegian musher had to leave the sled dog race after he was injured in a crash.

Buser is a four-time champion of the 1,100-mile race. He was the first to reach Ophir, arriving at the checkpoint at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday.

Next in was veteran Jim Lanier, who arrived at 12:10 a.m. Thursday. Five others also have reached Ophir, which is 687 miles from the finish in Nome on Alaska’s windswept western coast.

Norwegian musher Bjornar Andersen was hurt in a sled crash Wednesday and left the race the next day in Takotna. Organizers said he probably had internal injuries, but the extent was not immediately known. Andersen is being flown to Anchorage for further care.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.



OPHIR, Alaska (AP) _ Martin Buser is still the leader in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The four-time champion of the 1,100-mile race was the first to reach Ophir, arriving at the checkpoint at 4:50 p.m. Wednesday.

Next in was veteran Jim Lanier, who arrived at 12:10 a.m. Thursday. Two others also have reached Ophir, which is 687 miles from the finish in Nome on Alaska’s windswept western coast.

Aaron Burmeister arrived at the checkpoint at 6:09 a.m., followed 29 minutes later by Hugh Neff.

The race began with 67 teams, and two have scratched. The winner will receive $69,000 and a truck. Front-runners are expected to finish next week.

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