ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Four-time champion Jeff King claimed a gourmet meal as the first to arrive at the Galena checkpoint in Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but a later-arriving musher departed from the checkpoint first.
The Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage flew its chef to the checkpoint - 396 miles into the 1,000-milerace to the coastal town of Nome - to prepare a five-course meal to include crab-stuffed tenderloin and bananas Foster.
King, who last won in 2006, arrived in Galena at 4:37 a.m. Thursday, followed 77 minutes later by last year's runner-up Aliy Zirkle. Third was Burmeister, who left 19 minutes after arriving.
A field of 78 mushers began the trek Monday from Fairbanks. Seventy-six teams remain in the race. Zoya DeNure of Delta Junction has scratched.
The race usually kicks off in Willow, but a lack of snow led organizers to move the start farther north.