Iditarod's Mushing Mortician : The Two-Way Iditarod Mushing Mortician
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Iditarod's Mushing Mortician

Musher Scott Janssen. Mark Thiessen/AP hide caption

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Mark Thiessen/AP

Musher Scott Janssen.

Mark Thiessen/AP

It's day three of the "Last Great Race on Earth" and the Iditarod's lead mushers have departed the checkpoint at Rohn, about 784 miles from the finish in Nome. In the middle of the pack is Mushing Mortician Scott Janssen, an Anchorage funeral home director who tells the Anchorage Daily News, he's "dying to do" the race.

Janssen, who's taken a short break from his funeral home business, says he once flirted with the idea of using a hearse for his dog truck but found it impractical. The AP says the Iditarod rookie will celebrate his 50th birthday on the 1,100 mile trail and friends plan to sing for him.

Four time winner Lance Mackey is in the lead, according to

Musher news: former winner Rick Swenson broke his collarbone when he rolled his sled but is still in the race. Former winner Martin Busey tangled with another musher and freed six dogs to clear the mess. Five of them bolted but turned up later and Buser continued.