Iditarod 35: Swingley first to scratch

ROBERT DeBERRY/Frontiersman Doug Swingley’s bid for his fifth Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race title ended less than 24 hours after it began. The four-time champ scratched in Rainy Pass Monday morning.

March 6, 2007

RAINY PASS - Doug Swingley's bid for his fifth Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race title ended less than 24 hours after it began.

The four-time champ scratched in Rainy Pass Monday morning.

According to a press release issued by Iditarod Director of Public Relations Chas St. George, Swingley cannot continue in the race because of injuries suffered between Finger Lake and Rainy Pass.

St. George said checkpoint officials reported the Lincoln, Mont., native may have broken ribs and dislocated one of his thumbs.

Swingley was the second musher to reach Rainy Pass, according to the results posted on www.iditarod.com. He hit the fourth checkpoint in the Last Great Race at 10:15 a.m.

Cim Smyth, of Big Lake, was the first musher to hit Rainy Pass, arriving at 10 a.m He left five minutes later.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, four mushers had reached Rohn.

Lance Mackey hit the checkpoint first at 3:51 p.m., followed by Martin Buser (4:39 p.m.), Zack Steer (5:16 p.m.) and Aliy Zirkle (5:24 p.m.).

Fourteen mushers - a group that includes Smyth, brother Ramey, defending champion Jeff King and former champion Robert Sorlie - were en route to Rohn from Rainy Pass, as of press time.

For the latest updates, see the official race Web site, www.iditarod.com.

- Jeremiah Bartz

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