2012 Iditarod Standings as of 6:55 AM on 3/8/12

It’s a beautiful day in Alaska with temps hovering at minus 5 degrees.  Three of the top five mushers have completed their 24-hour rest periods, plus made up their starting differentials.  Now it’s all out to Nome!

Jim Lanier, Trent Herbst, Mitch Seavey, Alliy Zirkle, and Dallas Seavey all left Ophir late last night or early this morning.  Lanier and Herbst have yet to take their 24-hour rest period.

At the back of the pack, Kelly Maixner, Matt Failor, Bob Chulpach, Jan Steves, and Dan Seavey are split between McGrath and Nikolai.

Special to Kathleen Maxwell:  Your buddy Lance Mackey has finished his 24-hour layover and left Takotna after 3 am this morning.  He is currently running 12th.  He seems to be having some trouble with his dogs, as he arrived in McGrath with two dogs in his sled.  He said the health of his team was forcing him to take his rest period early, in McGrath, rather than in the more populat Takotna.  SBNation has him quoted as saying, “I race my team first and my competition second.  I’ve always said I’m not gonna win the Iditarod at the expense of my team.”  And we say, THANKS LANCE!

Ray Redington Jr. crashed as he went over Rainy Pass, but he’s fine, and has made it as far as Takotna, to watch the video of the crash with his fellow mushers.

Rookie Silvia Furtwangler made it as far as Nikolai before scratching from the race.

Check out the slideshow from Takotna in the Alaska Dispatch.

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

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