Rodney Whaley, a veteran of 24 years in the Tennessee National Guard, is one of only 102 people in the world to qualify for the 1,159-mile race.
Two-time defending champion Lance Mackey is the first musher to reach Anvik and is being treated to a gourmet dinner for arriving first.
Church bells rang out Friday to welcome Mackey as he pulled into
the Yukon River community, 500 miles from the finish line in Nome.
He is being feted with a seven-course meal that includes braised
pork belly, Alaskan bouillabaisse and duck breast prepared by a
chef flown in from Anchorage. He also receives $3,500 for being
first into Anvik.
Mackey left the Shageluk (SHAG-a-luck) checkpoint earlier
Thursday about three hours ahead of second-place musher Sebastian
The 1,100-mile race from Anchorage to Nome is expected to end
some time next week. Three mushers have scratched, leaving 64 in