Alaska musher Aliy Zirkle leading Iditarod

Tuesday , March 06, 2012 - 3:14 PM

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Musher Aliy Zirkle is leading the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The Two Rivers, Alaska, musher, who finished 11th last year, was first Monday night into the Rohn checkpoint 188 miles from Anchorage.

She was followed by Kelley Griffin and Jeff King, a four-time Iditarod champion who said he was retiring from the Iditarod but is back in this year's race. Mitch Seavey, the 2004 champion, is in fourth place.

Defending champion John Baker is in 11th place.

The teams now head to the checkpoint at Nikolai 75 miles away.

Sixty-six teams are competing in the nearly 1,000-mile race from Anchorage to Nome.

Get the Standard-Examiner Advantage.