by Andrew Hinkelman
Friday, March 12, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- It's game on in the 2010 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
Four-time champion Jeff King, who won an eight-course meal and $3,500 for being the first to reach the Yukon River earlier Friday, led the way into Galena Friday evening at 5:10 p.m. after taking his mandatory 8-hour layover in Ruby.
King left Ruby at 11:08 a.m. and Lance Mackey followed 72 minutes later after completing his 8-hour layover as well. There are no more mandatory layovers until White Mountain, and the staggered starts have been accounted for.
The race a lot of dog mushing fans wanted to see is full speed ahead.
King pulled his team of 15 dogs into the first stop along the Yukon River at 3:08 a.m. Mackey's team of 13 arrived at 4:20. The both dropped one dog before resuming the race.
King not only got to Ruby first, he was faster than Mackey, increasing his lead by 30 minutes during the run from the halfway point of Cripple.