Defending champion Lance Mackey leading Iditarod | NevadaAppeal.com
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Defending champion Lance Mackey leading Iditarod

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TALKEETNA, Alaska ” Defending champion Lance Mackey is determined to claim a second win in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race ” and he’s not wasting any time.

The 37-year-old Fairbanks musher was the first to reach the Takotna checkpoint overnight. He arrived at 1:57 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Takotna is 419 miles into the 1,100-mile race.

Checking in at 2:21 a.m. was Jeff King of Denali Park, followed six minutes later by Kjetil Backen of Norway. Also in at Takotna are Paul Gebhardt, Jim Lanier and Aaron Burmeister.

Five other mushers are en route to Takotna from McGrath.