ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Less than 24 hours after Iditarod mushers hit the trail from Willow, four-time defending champion Lance Mackey is already in the lead.
Mackey, looking to set a new record of five back-to-back wins (he holds the record at four), started in 17th position Sunday, but has jumped up to first place, with a 24-minute lead over Ray Redington Jr. going into Rainy Pass – before compensating for staggered start times.
Redington was the second musher out of the chute.
The Iditarod website shows Mackey, Redington and Hugh Neff as checked into Rainy Pass, but no out time, and did not indicate whether the three were taking a layover just a day into the race.
Filling out the top 10 are Robert Bundtzen, Sebastian Schnuelle, Paul Gebhardt, Martin Buser – another four-time champion, Bruce Linton, Gerry Willomitzer and rookie Nicolas Petit. They are all through Finger Lake.