Gold Rush! Lanier claims halfway prize


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Chugiak's Jim Lanier sips a cup of coffee shortly before the official Iditarod start on Sunday, March 4 in Willow.

Star photo by Matt Tunseth

Chugiak's Jim Lanier has cashed in.

Lanier, 71, was the first Iditarod musher to reach the Cripple checkpoint on Thursday, March 8, claiming $3,000 in gold nuggets courtesy of GCI.

He arrived in the checkpoint after making a 14 hour, 30 minute run from Ophir. Although Lanier was the first musher to reach the halfway mark, his lead didn't last for long. Lanier still had to declare his 24-hour layover, and he did so in Cripple. By Friday morning, 29 mushers had passed Lanier as he and his team of 13 dogs waited out their mandatory rest period.

For current race standings and updates, visit www.iditarod.com

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