WHITE MOUNTAIN, Alaska (AP) -- Iditarod leader Doug Swingley was resting in this community Tuesday evening, with 77 miles to go for his third straight win. He was expected to reach Nome early Wednesday morning.
Swingley reached White Mountain at 1:14 p.m. Tuesday, about six hours ahead of his closest pursuer, Linwood Fiedler. After a required eight-hour rest, he was scheduled to head for Nome at 9:14 p.m.
Barring an unexpected disaster, Swingley will receive $62,857 for his victory, plus a new pickup.
Swingley took time to sign autographs for a couple dozen children who greeted him at White Mountain.
The trip from Golovin was ''really nasty,'' according to Swingley. The wind was blowing so hard it was nearly whiteout conditions, he said.
(Past 5 years)
1996 -- Jeff King
1997 -- Martin Buser
1998 -- Jeff King
1999 -- Doug Swingley
2000 -- Doug Swingley
Asked if he was bored along the way, he said, ''It can hardly get boring when you're fighting with the elements.''
Fiedler, of Willow, reached White Mountain at 7:18 p.m. Tuesday. Still on the trail was three-time winner Jeff King, who left Koyuk about two and a half hours behind Fiedler. King only took a 23-minute rest at Koyuk, while Fiedler had about three hours to rest his team. King was down to eight dogs. Fiedler was running 11, the same number Swingley had.
King's charge is understandable, since second place pays nearly $12,000 more than third.
In fourth place was five-time champion Rick Swenson of Two Rivers. He's on the trail to Elim after leaving Koyuk at 11:50 a.m. Fifth-place musher Jerry Riley of Nenana left Koyuk about three and a half hours later, at 3:36 p.m.
A race was developing just behind the top five, with three mushers into Koyuk in quick succession Tuesday afternoon. John Baker, Paul Gebhardt and Rick Mackey were in between 5:05 p.m. and 5:44 p.m. Sixth place pays $32,476, while eighth is worth $27,238.
Fifty-seven of the 68 teams that started the race remain on the trail. Pedro Curuchet, a rookie from Argentina, scratched Monday in Shageluk because his team was tired. Curuchet, from Tierra Del Fuego, was the first musher from South America to enter the Iditarod.
Peninsula Clarion ©2013. All Rights Reserved.