The first nine and her dogs have passed the Shaktoolik checkpoint, a little more than 700 miles into the race, in 54th place. Anne Capistrant's team, meanwhile, has passed the Kaltag checkpoint in 73rd position after about 600 miles of mushing.
DeNure, 31, moved to Alaska in 2002 and traded a career in international fashion modeling to rescue and race sled dogs. She lives with her husband at Maclaren River near Mile 42 on the Denali Highway, and owns . Capistrant was instrumental in raising and training her husband's sled-dog teams for the Iditarod in 2003 and 2004 -- efforts during which she immersed herself in race preparation and strategy.
The first woman to win the Iditarod was Libby Riddles in 1985; she is also originally from Madison.
Supporters from both racers from Madison are providing more updates on their progress, meanwhile, at Dog Sled Denali, as well as at