- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2009

SHAGELUK, ALASKA (AP) - Two-time defending champion Lance Mackey is the first musher to pass through the checkpoint at Shageluk (SHAG’-a-luck) in the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Mackey arrived at 7:35 a.m. Friday and left eight minutes later with all 16 dogs.

Aaron Burmeister is second and Sebastian Schnuelle is third, but neither had reached Shageluk, 532 miles from the Nome finish line.

Mackey receives a trophy and $3,000 in gold nuggets for being the first Thursday to reach the ghost town checkpoint of Iditarod, the halfway point of the race.

Mackey arrived in Iditarod at 5:20 p.m. Thursday to overtake Burmeister, who had been leading. He is a four-time champion of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

SHAGELUK, Alaska (AP) _ Two-time defending champion Lance Mackey is the first musher to pass through the checkpoint at Shageluk (SHAG’-a-luck) in the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Mackey arrived at 7:35 a.m. Friday and left eight minutes later with all 16 dogs.

Aaron Burmeister is second and Sebastian Schnuelle is third, but neither had reached Shageluk, 532 miles from the Nome finish line.

Mackey receives a trophy and $3,000 in gold nuggets for being the first Thursday to reach the ghost town checkpoint of Iditarod, the halfway point of the race.

Mackey arrived in Iditarod at 5:20 p.m. Thursday to overtake Burmeister, who had been leading. He is a four-time champion of the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race.

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