The top five racers are all past the 7th checkpoint.
Ryan Redington is in first place, having left Rohn at 7:08 last night (Alaska time). He dropped one dog in Rohn, leaving him with 13, and his average speed is 8.75 mph.
Mitch Seavey, who has been mushing since 1963, is running second, leaving 19 minutes behind Redington, with all 14 of his original dogs still running. His average speed has been 9.38 mph.
Ryan’s brother, Ray Redington, Jr. left Rohn at 7:36 pm with all 16 of his dogs and an average speed of 8.61 mph.
In 4th place is the Norwegian racer, Joar Leifseth Ulsom. He left Rohn at 7:42 pm with all 16 of his dogs. Average speed: 8.75 mph.
Jessie Royer rounds out the top five, leaving Rohn at 8:14 pm with all 15 of her dogs and an average speed of 8.64 mph.
Wondering why the average speeds don’t line up with the 1st, 2nd, 3rd place order? Remember the start was staggered, leaving two minutes between each racer to prevent line entanglements. The staggering will be evened out when each racer takes his or her 24-hour mandatory rest period, so until then, the numbers won’t line up like you would expect.
The next checkpoint, Nikolai, is about 75 miles past Rohn, so the leaders should be getting close to checking in there.
About 1/3 of the racers are not yet to Rohn, but all have made it to Rainy Pass except for Zoya DeNure who scratched at the Skwentna checkpoint, reducing the field to 66 racers.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!