From Kyle Hopkins in White Mountain --
Lance Mackey just went to sleep, asking for a 2 a.m. wake-up call to feed his dogs, then he'll be out of here early this morning after a mandatory 8-hour stay in the village.
Mackey heaped fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn on a paper plate, with a side of hot dogs slathered in mayo as his father, 1978 Iditarod champion Dick, sat in a folding chair beside him.
Dick had broken down second-place Hans Gatt's speed, and what it would take to stay ahead of the Canadian Yukon Quest winner.
"When he is faster than you, he's about 0.8 miles an hour faster. And if that's the case, all you've got (to do) is to do your thing," Dick said. "At this point, it's your race to lose."
This is also the first place I've seen drug testing of mushers on the trail. The checkpoint is in the village city hall building, and Mackey spent a few minutes behind a door with a hand-made "Work Safe" sign.
"I didn't melt the bottom out of it. It must have went good," he said. I don't know, I'll find out the results, but I'm not worried."
Mackey, a cancer survivor who has a medical marijuana card, has acknowledged using pot on the trail in the past and felt singled out by the race's new effort to drug test mushers because of complaining from competitors. Mackey said long before the race he'd wouldn't use pot, including the pill he's prescribed on the race. I asked him what the test will show.
"I don't think it's going to show a damn thing," he said.