Carmacks: 10:15 a.m. The race for third place is just as intense as the race for first. Here in Carmacks, where Dave Dalton has been resting since 6:40 a.m. and where Michelle Phillips has settled in since arriving at 9:05 a.m., Brent Sass blew through. Sass spent 20 minutes repacking his sled and snacking his dogs and chatting extensively with the assembled press. Then he continued on towards Braeburn 77 miles (124 kilometres) away. He signed in at 9:30 and signed out of Carmacks Checkpoint at 9:50 a.m. The 27-year-old from Fairbanks said he’s “very surprised” he’s still up in the top five after battling a virus on the trail a few days earlier. “I thought I was out of it… I’m still a bit weak.” When he was sick he rested for 11 hours on the trail, but he said this morning that he hadn’t slept for the past 30 hours. Sass didn’t appear tired, nor did his dogs. The checkpoint Veterinarian on duty said they looked good and Sass departed with the nine he came in with. And just when it seemed the rest of the pack was far behind, Hugh Neff glided into Carmacks at 10:10 a.m. with his seven dogs. As did Sass, Neff inquired about the three in front of him – who went through, who stayed. Neff appears to be sticking around for awhile.