Zirkle leading the Iditarod Pack at Midway Point

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March 15, 2015

Just about halfway into the race, the leaders in the 2015 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race were familiar ones. Leaving the Koyukuk checkpoint, 564 miles in, were Aliy Zirkle, Jeff King, Aaron Burmeister, and Dallas Seavey.

Zirkle (left) has placed second the past three years, King has won four times, and Seavey is the defending champion. Burmeister has raced for 20 years, and his highest placing was fourth, in 2012.

King, who has said that this is his last year, suffered a fall when he fell asleep on the runners. He quickly got back on but sustained a slight leg injury.

In other race news:

  • A North Dakota musher, Kelly Maixner, is running an Alaskan husky that is technically blind. The dog, named Laura, has pannus, a cornea disease. Laura isn't the lead dog, so Maixner is confident that she and the other dogs will help propel him into a top-10 finish. This is Maixner's fifth Iditarod.
  • Two avid race fans have gotten engaged at the race start. Michael Middleton and Erika Kelsey (below) met in Willow in 2010. They got engaged in Fairbanks this year.

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