National Guardsman Rodney Whaley scratched from the Iditarod Sunday in Cripple, Alaska, with 13 dogs. He cited concerns over the health of his team as the reason for scratching. Whaley, 56, a master sergeant, was sponsored by the National Guard and competing for the first time. He is the first Tennessean to ever qualify for the race.

Ten mushers have scratched since the start of the race on March 1 and one has been withdrawn. One dog has died. A field of 85 mushers remain on the trail. The front-runners take about 10 days to make the trek, so the winner could cross the finish line under Nome’s burled arch today.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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