Norwegian musher wins Iditarod sled dog race in Alaska

Joar Ulsom of Norway thanks fans after winning the Iditarod sled dog race in Nome Alaska Wednesday

Joar Ulsom of Norway thanks fans after winning the Iditarod sled dog race in Nome Alaska Wednesday

Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom, who finished fourth in last year's Iditarod, was leading the race as of Monday evening; he was the first to reach Koyuk, 827 miles into the race, at about 1 p.m. Monday.

If Ulsom wins, he will become the third Iditarod victor born outside the United States.

"It's pretty unreal I pulled it off", Ulsom told reporters at the finish line in Nome, Alaska.

Norwegian Joar Leifseth Ulsom became just the third global born musher to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race when he arrived in Nome, Alaska in the early morning darkness on Wednesday to the cheers of gathered spectators.

Redington dropped out after the 122-mile leg from Grayling to Kaltag - the race's longest leg, which can take mushers and teams a full day or more to complete.

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"I don't know what to say about it".

Robert Sorlie, also of Norway, is the only non-American to win The Last Great Race. "It was hard to keep my tears back when I crossed the finish line". He's also the second Norwegian after Robert Sorlie, a two-time victor who cheered Ulsom's progress along the trail.

At this point, it would take another upset to dislodge Ulsom's lead.

The Iditarod, which began March 4, has been suffering financially and lost Wells Fargo bank as a major sponsor in the past year. Organizers have blamed animal rights activists for putting pressure on sponsors.

Dr. Craig allegedly threatened Musher Wade Marrs, saying that he would release positive drug tests from his team if his workings with Dallas Seavey and the Finishers Club didn't cease.

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The race also was marked by fallout from its first-ever dog doping scandal.

Officials didn't punish Seavey but changed race rules to make mushers responsible for any positive drug test. Seavey, who won four titles between 2012 and 2016, denied giving drugs to his dogs and sat out this year's race in protest.

A Norwegian musher continues to lead the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday.

Musher Wade Marrs said Craig threatened to expose him as another musher who had a positive drug test a year ago.

FILE PHOTO - Feinix from Joar Leifseth Ulsom's team is pictured during preparations for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod dog sled race in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 3, 2018. Race spokesman Chas St. George didn't immediately respond to a request seeking clarification and more information.

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Sixty-seven mushers and their dogs started the Iditarod in Anchorage on March 3. Joar Ulsom checked out at 1 a.m., behind him Nic Petit at 4 a.m., and most recently Mitch Seavey, leaving to give chase just before 6 a.m. Eight of them, including Marrs, dropped out.

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