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Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher reaches halfway point

March 10, 2011 | 12:35 pm

Sled dogs rest at a checkpoint during the 2011 Iditarod Sled Dog Race. The 2011 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race reached the halfway point for one musher early Thursday.

Trent Herbst of Ketchum, Idaho, was the first to arrive in the abandoned mining town of Iditarod, which marks the midpoint of the race, and in doing so was awarded the GCI Dorothy Page Halfway Award as well as $3,000 in gold nuggets.

Herbst, however, had not yet taken the mandatory 24-hour layover for his team. Race frontrunners took layovers in Takotna on Wednesday, so Herbst will watch as others pass him, including Martin Buser, who has been making tremendous time between checkpoints thus far.

Veteran musher Mitch Seavey had to drop out of the race Thursday morning with an injured hand. The Anchorage Daily News reported that Seavey, who won the 2004 Idatarod, was cutting open a bale of straw at Ophir checkpoint when he injured his fingers. Race marshal Mark Nordman determined that the injury was severe enough to warrant Seavey's removal from the race.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Sled dogs rest at a checkpoint. Credit: Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News