Joar Leifseth Ulsom is the first racer to make it to Ophir, clocking in at 4:42 (Alaska time) this morning and leaving 10 minutes later. He still has all 16 of his dogs and is traveling at an average speed of 7.89 miles per hour.
The remainder of the top five are resting a bit in Takotna, just 30 miles short of Ophir.
Mitch Seavey arrived at 9:45 last night with 13 dogs and an average speed of 7.55 mph.
Ray Redington, Jr. arrived 18 minutes after midnight with 15 dogs and an average speed of 6.24 mph.
Jessier Royer made it to Takotna at 1:12 am with 14 dogs and an average speed of 6.67 mph.
New to the top 5, Linwood Fielder checked into Takotna at 1:46 am with 15 dogs and an average speed of 7.2 mph.
None of the racers is marked as taking any of their mandatory rest periods yet, but given the amount of time they are spending in Takotna, it appears some of them may be checking off at least their 8-hour stop.
Onward to the Ophir and Iditarod checkpoints. Iditarod is 80 miles past Ophir, which means Ulsom should be arriving there this evening.
Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!