ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Raceis halfway over, with a few mushers delaying their mandatory 24-hour layovers -- and abandoning most hope of catching up with the leaders -- in an all-out drive for the trail’s midpoint.
Race standings updated at 2:33 p.m. Thursday say musher Jim Lanier was the first to reach Cripple at 1:55 p.m., darting out of Ophir at 11:25 p.m. Wednesday. The run gives Lanier GCI’s Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award, as well as a $3,000 prize, for being first to reach the village halfway along the race’s 975-mile course.
GPS tracking also showed 2004 champion Mitch Seavey -- who has taken his 24-hour layover and is poised to assume the race lead -- in Cripple where race standings listed him in second, the first of some 32 mushers en route from Ophir to Cripple Thursday afternoon to reach the checkpoint after Lanier.
Trent Herbst, who also delayed his layover, was approaching Cripple on GPS and listed in third place despite a 12:35 a.m. departure from Ophir -- more than three hours ahead of Seavey, who overcame a 3:52 a.m. departure time to overtake Herbst.