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Mitch Seavey is first Iditarod musher to reach Ruby

Mitch Seavey gets 'spirit mask,' $500 air credit for being first Iditarod musher to reach Ruby

Dogs in Seth Barnes' team arrive in Tanana, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Alaska Dispatch News...
Musher Seth Barnes snacks his team at the Tanana, Alaska, checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Ala...
A dog in musher Steve Watkins' team rests sitting up at the Tanana, Alaska, checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Wednesday, March 11, 2...

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Dogs in Seth Barnes' team arrive in Tanana, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Alaska Dispatch News...

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

Musher Seth Barnes snacks his team at the Tanana, Alaska, checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Ala...

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race

A dog in musher Steve Watkins' team rests sitting up at the Tanana, Alaska, checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Wednesday, March 11, 2...

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- The two-time Iditarod champion Mitch Seavey was the first musher to reach the checkpoint in Ruby, and an up-and-coming musher has been disqualified.

Seavey covered the grueling, 119-mile (192-kilometer) stretch from Tanana in 18 hours, 35 minutes, arriving in the Ruby checkpoint at 6:13 p.m. Wednesday.

For being first to Ruby, he received a "spirit mask" created by Bristol Bay artist Orville Lind and a $500 credit on PenAir.

He was followed in by his son, defending champion Dallas Seavey, two minutes later. Dallas Seavey, also a two-time champion, covered the route from Tanana in 18 hours, 51 minutes.

A host of mushers were en route on the Yukon to the village.

Brent Sass, who last month won the thousand-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, was disqualified Tuesday because the Iditarod race marshal said he had a two-way communications device with him. Mushers are not allowed to have contact with anyone during the race.

Marshal Mark Nordman removed Sass after finding the iPod Touch, which is Wi-Fi capable and could have been used to communicate at checkpoints.

"He went, 'Oh my God, what a mistake.' You know, an emotional time for him," Nordman told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner after Sass was disqualified. "Just a mistake. Do I believe Brent was trying to gain a competitive advantage in the race? Absolutely not. That's my personal opinion."

Sass said he brought the device, similar to an iPhone without a phone function, to listen to music and watch movies while he was on the trail. It didn't register that the device could be hooked into a wireless network at a checkpoint to communicate to the outside world, he said.

"I had no intention of using the Wi-Fi," he said.

A field of 78 mushers began the trek Monday from Fairbanks to the old gold-rush town of Nome. Seventy-seven teams remain in the race.

The race usually kicks off in Willow, but a lack of snow led organizers to move the start farther north to Fairbanks on Monday.


Updated : 2021-09-23 14:30 GMT+08:00