By MARK THIESSEN
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Brent Sass has picked up $3,000 in gold nuggets as a reward for being the first musher to reach the halfway point of this year’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Sass pulled into the ghost town of Cripple Wednesday afternoon, overtaking defending champion Dallas Seavey along the way. Seavey was the first musher to leave Ophir for Cripple, and had an 18-minute advantage over Sass early Wednesday. Sass moved from Minnesota to Eureka, Alaska, where he is a wilderness guide when not mushing. The Iditarod started Sunday for 49 mushers. The nearly 1,000-mile race across Alaska will end sometime next week in the Bering Sea coastal community of Nome.