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Nicolas Petit Loses 2019 Iditarod Lead After Dogs Refuse to Run

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 11, 2019

FILE - In this March 7, 2015, file photo, musher Peter Kaiser, of Bethel, Alaska, leads his team past spectators during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in Anchorage, Alaska. There's a new leader in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after the dogs on musher Nicolas Petit's team quit on him. Alaska musher Pete Kaiser passed Petit and was the first musher to reach the checkpoint in Koyuk Monday, March 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Rachel D'Oro, File)
Rachel D'Oro/Associated Press

The Iditarod is grueling on its own, but it's even more difficult to win when the dogs don't cooperate.

Nicolas Petit was leading the 2019 sled dog race in Alaska as of Sunday, but he fell out of first place after the rest of his team decided to slow the pace.

According to Leroy Polk of KTUU, one dog had attacked another, which led Petit to intervene.

"Everybody heard daddy yelling," he said. "Which doesn't happen. And then they wouldn't go anymore. Anywhere."

After leading the race at the previous two checkpoints, Petit was forced to take an extended rest. At least three other mushers passed him.

"I ain't moving, so I'm not doing that great," he said Monday.

The 39-year-old is going for his first Iditarod title after finishing in second place last year, perΒ Tegan Hanlon of the Anchorage Daily News.Β  Β