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Recaption

With less than 120 miles to Nome and roughly 20 minutes separating first and second place sled dog teams, the battle for this year's Iditarod championship is coming right down to the wire.

Earlier this morning, Dallas Seavey blasted through Koyuk and pushed his team forward to Elim, the 18th checkpoint along the trail, situated along the coast of the Bering Sea and only 95 miles from Nome. Meanwhile, Aily Zirkle is nipping at Seavey's heels. Although Zirkle is trailing by 20 minutes, she is running a team of 12 dogs while Seavey is down to just 11, allowing her to gain ground and time on the leader with each passing mile.

Be sure to check in tomorrow for what is sure to be the final day of the 2012 Iditarod race! My money is on Zirkle to bring it all in, but I'll never count a Seavey out, so at this point it is anyone's guess! Who knows, maybe even last year's winner John Baker will pull some tricks out of his sleeve and jump from fourth to first down the home stretch!

Stick around for more updates right here, at I Has a Hot Dog!

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Recaption

Day seven of the Iditarod is well underway, and the race is turning into a duel between former Yukon Quest champions Aily Zirkle and Dallas Seavey. Both Zirkle and Seavey have already cleared Nulato and are making their way toward Kaltag, with the rest of the pack fading further and further behind.

Kaltag is the final checkpoint that follows the Yukon River, and is only 261 miles from the finish line at Nome. However, the final stretch will not be easy, as racers make their way to Unalakleet and the edge of the Bering Sea. High winds, low visibility and fatigue become prominent factors along the coast, where the elements amplify the physical stress of the race with the intense mental fatigue of strategy.

The final stretch from Unalakleet is where winners are made and spirits are broken; where strategy and counterattacks are critical; and when experienced dogs matter most.

The toughest race on Earth is about to get a whole lot tougher, so stay tuned for more updates right here at I Has a Hot Dog!

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Recaption

After pulling out of Willow during yesterday's official start, all 66 teams are well on their way to Nome today, with veteran musher Ray Redington, Jr. currently leading the pack. As of 8a.m. Alaskan Time this morning, Ray and his team had already left the Finger Lake checkpoint and were making their way toward Rainy Pass, the fourth checkpoint along the Iditarod trail.

Ray has already covered 112 miles since yesterday afternoon's official restart from Willow, with a race pace of 6.25MPH. Other veteran mushers, including four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey, are gaining ground and trailing Redington by only a few minutes as the top seven teams head into Rainy Pass.

John Baker, last year's Iditarod champion who notoriously sets a slow and steady pace, is currently running in tenth place with a speed of 5.98MPH. Baker left the Finger Lake checkpoint by 6a.m. in an attempt to overtake musher Nicolas Petit, whose 16 dog team has an hour on the reigning Iditarod champ.

Stay tuned for more updates from I Has a Hot Dog's daily coverage of the 2012 Iditarod!

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Dozer decided to go for a run with a bunch of folks running for cancer research and he ended up making all sorts of money for the cause! Way to go, Dozer!

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