Musher disqualified from Alaska Iditarod race for iPod

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Posted: Mar 11, 2015 2:52 AM
Musher disqualified from Alaska Iditarod race for iPod

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Veteran musher Brent Sass has been disqualified from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race for carrying a two-way communication device.

Race director Mark Nordman says Sass, of Eureka, was disqualified late Tuesday for a violation of Rule 35, which prohibits cellphones and other two-way communication devices.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1C5RZPT ) that Sass says he had an iPod Touch that had wireless Internet capability.

Sass won last month's last month's 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

The Iditarod began Monday in Fairbanks. Pete Kaiser of Bethel was in the lead 161 miles into the race Tuesday.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A young musher who recently won an all-river-ice sled dog race in Alaska has grabbed an early lead in the 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Pete Kaiser of Bethel was the first to leave the Manley Hot Springs checkpoint, 161 miles into the race.

He departed at 7:58 a.m. Tuesday, followed 40 minutes later by 2004 Iditarod winner Mitch Seavey. Musher Jessie Royer of Darby, Montana, pulled out of the checkpoint 17 minutes after Seavey.

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A field of 78 mushers began the trek Monday from Fairbanks to the old gold-rush town of Nome.

The race usually kicks off 225 miles south in Willow, but a lack of snow led organizers to move the start farther north.

The route change adds about 600 miles of river ice, but it eliminates a mountain range and treacherous gorge.