Lance Mackey leads Alaska’s Iditarod sled dog race

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Musher Lance Mackey (Photo: Iditarod.com)

Musher Lance Mackey (Photo: Iditarod.com)

OPHIR, Alaska (AP) — Four-time consecutive winner of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Lance Mackey is leading the 1,000-mile race to Nome.

Mackey pulled into the checkpoint at Ophir, Alaska, at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday and stayed for 15 minutes before getting his team back on the trail. He last won the race in 2010.

Musher Jake Berkowitz was in second place early Wednesday. Nicolas Petit was in third.

Ophir was once the center of an important gold-mining district but now is a ghost town. From Ophir, mushers head 90 miles to another ghost town, the checkpoint at Iditarod.

Mushers are approaching the half-way mark in the race, which began Sunday in Willow with 65 teams. Two teams have scratched.

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