I’ve been posting information about the Iditarod all week, and I hope it’s been interesting for you. I find it fascinating to see how these people and their dogs face some of the most brutal conditions and appear to have fun doing it. So – what do you think of the race? Continue reading Saturday Survey: Are You Following the Iditarod?→
Today’s weather in Alaska: minus 9 degrees under partly cloudy skies, and the top five mushers have all cleared the Cripple checkpoint. They’ve all completed their 24-hour rest periods now, and have made up their starting differentials, so this should be a pretty accurate running order.
Alliy Zirkle is back in the lead, followed by Mitch Seavey, John Baker, Dallas Seavey, and Ray Redington, Jr. As they left Cripple, just three hours separate Zirkle from Redington.
Bringing up the tail end of the race are Dan Seavey, Jaimee Kinzer, Kirk Barnum, Jan Steves, and Bob Chlupach. Seavey has made it into Takotna, and Kinzer has left McGrath. The final three are still in McGrath.
Two additional mushers have scratched: Wade Marrs and Ryan Redington.
I know I have at least one reader intensely following Lance Mackey: he’s currently running 16th, and made it into Cripple with 12 dogs a little after 6 pm last night, just before Alliy Zirkle set out from there.
It’s a beautiful day in Alaska with temps hovering at minus 5 degrees. Three of the top five mushers have completed their 24-hour rest periods, plus made up their starting differentials. Now it’s all out to Nome!
Every year during the Iditarod, animal rights groups berate the race organizers and participants for putting these “poor” dogs in harm’s way by asking them to compete. There’s no doubt the race is grueling, but have you looked at any pictures of the dogs? They look out of their minds in happiness that they are finally doing what they were bred and trained to do.
And the mushers know the dogs are (a) very expensive and (b) vital to their success in racing. So most of them are meticulous in the way they care for their dogs. Check out the lengths to which a musher will go to maintain a good dog.
As Scott Janssen (who calls himself The Mushing Mortician) was running his team down a steep section of the Dalzell Gorge, 9-year old Husky Marshall collapsed. Janssen picked up the dog and gave him CPR. Once the dog was revived, he got to ride on the sled into the next checkpoint, where he was treated by a vet, then airlifted home.
Here’s the full story from The Sled Blog in the Anchorage Daily News.
It’s 10 degrees above zero in Alaska, with light snow. The top five mushers are as follows:
All have made it to Takotna, where they appear to be taking their 24-hour rest periods. At the end of their rest, they will make up their start differential (i.e. at the end of the 24 hours, the person who was last musher from the starting line gets to leave immediately, while the person who was the first to start from Willow has to wait a little over 2 extra hours before leaving.) So, once they get on the road again, we’ll be able to truly tell who’s leading.
Keep in mind, the mushers have to sign IN to each checkpoint, but the only one they have to sign OUT of is the one where they take their 24-hour rest period. Sometimes they like to sneak out, just to add to the mind-game factor of the race.
The bottom five: Silvia Furtwangler, Matt Failor, Jan Steves, Bob Chlupach, and Dan Seavey, have all left Rohn.
Check back tomorrow at about this time for another update, or check out the official Iditarod website for up-to-the-minute results.