Iron Dog blasts off

The Iron Dog, a 2,031-mile snowmachine race across Alaska, blasted out of Big Lake on Sunday.

By nightfall, the leaders were taking a 14-hour layover in McGrath. The leaders are Mike Morgan and Chris Olds, with a trail time of 7 hours, 59 minutes and 0 seconds.

The Peninsula has two racers in the Pro Class. The defending champions are Dusty VanMeter of Kasilof and Marc McKenna of Anchorage. They were in McGrath in fifth place with a trail time of 8:31:03. VanMeter is a four-time champ.

Just behind VanMeter and McKenna, in sixth place, were Scott Davis of Soldotna and Todd Palin of Wasilla, with a trail time of 8:39:44. Davis has won the race seven times.

Racers are competing for a first prize of $50,000 and a total purse of $200,000.

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