You knew it was only a matter of time before two-time defending champ Lance Mackey made his move, and he did so yesterday afternoon, and as a result, he now has the lead in the 2009 Iditarod. Mackey is through the Shageluk checkpoint, meaning he’s now covered more than 600 of the 1100 mile course.
Currently in second place on the leaderboard is Sebastian Schnuelle, winner of this year’s Yukon Quest. He’s also into Shageluk, but is roughly four hours behind Lance, and as of this writing he hasn’t left in pursuit yet. Aaron Burmeister is running in third at the moment, with a number of mushers on the trail behind him hoping to make up ground.
Mackey seems to be putting the hammer down and hoping to put some distance between him and the competition, but with Nome not quite in sight yet, the rest strategy may still come into play. Especially considering the conditions out on the trail are said to be demanding. At the moment, Lance is breaking trail for those that follow, and that’s much harder on his dogs. It remains to be seen if he can keep up the pace and claim a third straight Iditarod. I wouldn’t bet against him though.
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