Minnesotan finishes Iditarod as top rookie
NOME - Musher Nathan Schroeder of Chisholm, Minn., has crossed the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race finish line in Nome as the first rookie to complete this year's 1,000-mile race across the Alaskan wilderness.
Schroeder -- competing in his first Iditarod after winning Minnesota’s John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon three times -- crossed the finish line at 8:52 a.m. Alaska time Wednesday, according to the race website. He finished in 17th place of the 50 teams that have either finished or were still on the trail; 69 teams started the race March 2.
Schroeder's finish puts him in elite company among race rookies. In the past 20 years, only six rookies have finished higher in the standings.
Schroeder and his team of 11 dogs left the Safety checkpoint, about 20 miles from the finish, at 6:15 a.m. Alaska time Wednesday — the same time as fellow rookie Abbie West and her team of eight. Schroeder and West traded the lead rookie spot for much of the race before Schroeder pulled ahead at the finish, finishing 5½ minutes ahead.
Schroeder's total time on the trail was 9 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 51 seconds.