- Associated Press - Monday, March 10, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog champion Jeff King and his closest competitor have completed mandatory eight-hour layovers and begun the final 77-mile run to Nome.

King departed White Mountain at 4:02 p.m. Monday. He dropped one dog and left with 11.

He had reached the village at 7:02 a.m., 57 minutes ahead of Aliy Zirkle (AL’-ee ZUR’kahl).

Zirkle left the checkpoint at 4 p.m. with 11 dogs on her team.

King is a four-time champion and could match Rick Swenson with five championships if he is first to Nome.

Zirkle, of Two Rivers, Alaska, has finished as runner-up the last two years.

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