ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Aaron Burmeister has reclaimed the lead in Alaska’s 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, beating defending champion Dallas Seavey out of one of the last checkpoints by more than an hour.

Burmeister left the Shaktoolik checkpoint at 3:48 a.m. Monday, followed by Seavey at 5:08 a.m.

Five checkpoints remain for the mushers as they brave the hard-packed trail and chilling North Pacific winds of the Bering Sea coast. Shaktoolik is 171 miles from the finish in Burmeister’s hometown of Nome.

Burmeister is a 15-year Iditarod veteran who has never finished higher than fourth. He took the lead Sunday and was the first to reach Unalakleet, the first checkpoint on the coast.

On Monday morning, Seavey’s father, Mitch Seavey, was in third place, followed by Aliy Zirkle in fourth and Jessie Royer in fifth.

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