If Mitch Seavey wins his second Iditarod championship on Tuesday, it could be for the move he didn't make.
Seavey, the 2004 champion from Sterling, was the first musher to leave Elim on Monday night, almost one hour ahead of his nearest competitor with the finish line in Nome just 110 miles away.
Seavey appears to have survived big gambles by a pair of four-time champions -- Martin Buser's opening-day gambit that put him in command for the first half of the race, and Jeff King's Monday morning maneuver that put him in the lead for a few hours.
King chose to bypass the Koyuk checkpoint, opting to make the 84-mile run from Shaktoolik to Elim in one long stretch. Everyone else in the top 10 spent time resting in Koyuk.
The decision put the Denali Park musher about 31/2 hours ahead of Seavey, who beat King to Koyuk 34 minutes and settled in for nearly a four-hour break.