Iditarod leaders still need 24-hour break

March 10, 2011 10:12:13 AM PST
The lead early Thursday in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is held by three mushers who have yet to take the mandatory 24-hour rest stop on the route from Anchorage to Nome.

The race website shows Kelly Griffin of Wasilla; Trent Herbst of Ketchum, Idaho; and Cim Smyth of Big Lake were first out of the checkpoint at Ophir, 534 miles from Anchorage.

They are followed by mushers who have made a 12-hour layover, including four-time champion Martin Buser of Big Lake, Hugh Neff of Tok, and four-time consecutive defending champion Lance Mackey of Fairbanks.

The next checkpoint is the town of Iditarod, 597 miles to Nome, more than halfway through the 1,150 race that began last weekend. Six of the 62 teams have scratched. ------