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Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race teams reach halfway checkpoint

Musher Jessie Royer and her team arrives in Nikolai, Alaska, on Tuesday during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Seven mushers and their teams have reached the halfway point of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, reaching the checkpoint in Cripple, Alaska, on Thursday.

Musher Dallas Seavey was the first to arrive at the checkpoint early this morning, netting the GCI Dorothy Page Halfway Award and $3,000 in gold nuggets for being first to reach the "Official halfway point" on the Northern Route.

The 22-year-old musher still holds first place while his father, Mitch Seavey, winner of the 2004 Iditarod and also competing this year, is currently listed in ninth place.

The leg from Cripple to the next checkpoint in Ruby is approximately 112 miles, and is the longest distance between two checkpoints in the 1,112-mile race.

Defending and three-time champion Lance Mackey is currently listed in 11th place on the Live Leader Board posted on the Anchorage Daily News website.

Mackey, an Alaska native from Fairbanks, is hoping to win his fourth Iditarod in a row, which would set a new record for consecutive wins.

There were two more scratches in the race since yesterday: Rookie musher Kathleen Frederick, of Willow, Alaska, scratched at the Rohn checkpoint Wednesday because of equipment and gear problems. Today, musher Linwood Fiedler, also from Willow, scratched in McGrath checkpoint, making the decision based on the best interests of his team.

This brings the total number of teams out of the race to seven of the 71 started.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Musher Jessie Royer and her team arrives in Nikolai, Alaska, on Tuesday during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Credit: Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.