Norwegian musher Waerner wins Iditarod sled dog race

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Veteran musher Thomas Waerner of Norway won his first Iditarod sled dog race on Wednesday, completing the famed Alaskan endurance trek in nine days, 10 hours, 37 minutes and 47 seconds.

Waerner crossed the finish line at Nome at 12:37 a.m., becoming only the third Norwegian musher to win the event in just his second start, having placed 17th in 2015 in his Iditarod debut, when he took rookie of the year honors.

Waerner became the 26th consecutive winner to complete the journey of about 975 miles (1,570km) in less than 10 days.

Among Waerner's eight other global sled dog racing medals was a victory in the 2019 Finnmarkslopet, the longest sled dog race in Europe.

Waerner runs a technology company in Norway and is part of the Qrill Pet Mushing Team, the world's first professional long-distance sled dog team.

Other mushers along the trail will continue to Nome, the race not concluding until the last of them cross under the finishing arch.

The race began with a ceremonial start in Anchorage before a restart in Willow.