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March 7, 2013
Iditarod 2013 halfway point

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- After days of heating up meals in boiling water used to make gravy for the dogs and snacking on energy bars or chunks of meat, the first musher to reach the village of Anvik along the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is in for a treat.

The Millennium Alaskan Hotel Anchorage will fly its chef 350 miles to this remote Alaska village of 82 people to whip up a seven-course meal for the first musher to get to the first checkpoint along the 1,800-mile long Yukon River.

Executive Chef Bobby Sidro will have to overcome his fear of small planes to make the journey to this Athabascan subsistence village, where locals grow their own vegetables, fish for salmon and hunt moose and black bear for meat. There's no restaurant in town.

He's scheduled to fly to Anvik on Thursday.

Four-time champion Lance Mackey leads the 1,000-mile race across the Alaska wilderness. The 42-year-old Fairbanks musher was the first to reach the halfway point of the race at the ghost-town checkpoint of Iditarod shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, and received $3,000 in gold nuggets for the accomplishment.

(30 images)




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A musher and dog team cross the ice between the Rohn and Nikolai checkpoints in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Musher Matt Failor puts boots on Angel prior to leaving the Iditarod checkpoint in McGrath, Alaska, on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Iditarod sled dogs from Mike Ellis rest at the McGrath checkpoint on Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Iditarod Air Force pilot Scott Ivany prepares to leave the Nikolai, Alaska, airport with a load of dropped dogs on Wednesday, March 6, 2013, during the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Four-time champion Martin Buser booties up his dog team before leaving the Rohn checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Paige Drobny of Fairbanks tends to her dog team in the Athabaskan village of Nikolai, Alaska, during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Veteran Iditarod musher Robert Bundtzen drives his team away from the Athabaskan village of Nikolai, Alaska, on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Four-time Iditarod champion Martin Buser leaves Rohn, Alaska, after finishing his 24-hour layover on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Four-time champion Martin Buser heads down the trail on his way to the Nikolai checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Musher Christine Roalofs drives her team through the Happy River Gorge en route to the Rohn checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Two mushers work their way across the Farewell Burn during the Iditarod on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Iditarod dog teams rest at the village of Nikolai, Alaska, along the Kuskokwim River, on Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Headlamps provide light for mushers and veterinarians working with sled dogs in the village of Nikolai, Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Tuesday, March 5, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Scott Janssen heads down the trail after departing the Finger Lake checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Musher Sonny Lindner snacks his dogs at the Finger Lake checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Ken Anderson puts booties on a lead dog, named Regret, at the Finger Lake checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, Mar. 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Matt Giblin puts booties on leader Kenya before leaving the Finger Lake checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Angie Taggart rests in a musher tent at the Finger Lake checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Iditarod rookie Christine Roalofs curls up to take a nap with her dogs at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake, Alaska, Monday, March 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Leaders in Jessica Hendricks's dog team negotiate a steep drop off in the trail after leaving the Finger Lake checkpoint in Alaska during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Musher Cim Smyth of Big Lake arrives at the Iditarod checkpoint on Finger Lake in Alaska, Monday, March 4, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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A musher waves to cheering fans gathered on Long Lake during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Willow, Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Three mushers cross Vera Lake during the Iditarod Restart in Willow, Alaska, Sunday, March 3, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Musher Anna Berington, left, pulls her dog team up to the start line as Jessie Royer, right, talks to her leaders during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Willow, Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Jeff King, of Denali, Alaska, gets high fives in the start chute as he leaves the starting line of the 2013 Iditarod Sled Dog Race in Willow, Alaska, Sunday, March 3, 2013. The Anchorage Daily News / Bob Hallinen
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James Volek pulls one on his dogs out of a truck before the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Willow, Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News / Bob Hallinen
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Dogs wait to run in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Willow, Alaska. AP / Rachel D'Oro
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A dog waits to run in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, Sunday, March 3, 2013, in Willow, Alaska. AP / Rachel D'Oro
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The dog team of Mike Ellis round the corner at 4th Avenue and Cordova Street during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth
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Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King drives his dog team down 4th Avenue during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Anchorage, Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News / Bill Roth

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