Mushers in Iditarod pass halfway point in race to Nome

SHOWS: VARIOUS, ALASKA. (MARCH 12, 2020)(LAGARDERE-SEE RESTRICTIONS ABOVE)

1. RICHIE DIEHL AND THOMAS WÆRNER ON TRAIL NEAR CHECKPOINT CRIPPLE (12TH OF MARCH), NEARING NIGHTIME

2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MUSHER RYAN REDINGTON, SAYING:

"Yeah, we've been adapting well and taking one run at a time, being conservative, still got 12 dogs and I'm pretty happy with 'em."

3. (SOUNDBITE (English) MUSHER MITCH SEAVY, SAYING:

"It's a difficult part of it, probably the toughest part is dealing with sleep deprivation, but, we do a lot of training that's race simulated, as well as having done this for years so it becomes a matter of, like, muscle memory and just routine and I guess kind of mind over matter, you just have to keep going and do what you have to do but it ends up taking longer to do things and you get slowed down a little bit so that's the thing about coming to your 24-hour layover and get eight hours of sleep and things look a whole lot better."

4. MILLE PORSILD (DENMARK) ARRIVING AT CHECKPOINT CRIPPLE (12TH OF MARCH) AT NIGHT

5. CLOSE UP AND DRONE FOOTAGE OF RICHIE DIEHL LEAVING CHECKPOINT

STORY: Mushers raced toward the checkpoint at Ruby, Alaska on Thursday (March 12) on day six of the Iditarod Trail Sleddog Race, one of the few sporting events still taking place in North America.

The lead mushers passed the halfway mark at Cripple and paused to take part of their mandatory 40 hours rest at Ruby.

Many mushers have finished their 24 hour mandatory rest and are now back on track.

Jessie Royer, a female musher, is currently in first place.

Ruby was home for many of the mushers who carried mail for the Northern Commercial Company from Tanana to Ruby. The trip took four days and paid $5.00 a day. Dog team mail ended here in 1931.

Current top mushers:

1. Jessie Royer

2. Aaron Burmeister

3. Thomas Waerner

4. Richie Diehl

(Production: Peter Bullock)