After a cold night on the trail, Mike Jr. is just now arriving into the Yukon River checkpoint of Ruby, Alaska. He left Cripple last night at 9:23 with 9 dogs and his time will be pretty close to the time of John Baker, who left about 20 minutes earlier. This is a really good sign for his team of 9 that has been with him since the Kuskokwim. Go Mike Jr!!
Pete and the Team left Cripple after a bit over 5 hour rest in the wilderness checkpoint. Pete and Richie are still traveling together with pretty evenly matched Teams at this point. The Teams left early this morning just after 1am and are presently situated about 20 miles south of Ruby with about 2 hours and 30 minutes or so left before they will take another break.
The story at the front of the pack is still a bit convoluted and unclear, but the Teams to beat are seemingly Martin Buser and Robert Sorlie. Both have taken their 24 hour and 8 hour layovers and have no more mandatory layovers until the mandatory Hold Layover in White Mountain (8 Hours)
Aliy Zirke didn’t take her break in Ruby and mushed on last night to Galena. Though she shows first on the leaderboard, that 8 hour break is still hanging over her and we will see how that plays out. At this point in the race, the checkpoints are spaced evenly and mushers will tend to rest in checkpoints instead of on the trail because the distances about one run apart or so. What that means is that if a Team is going to take a 5 hour break anyway, they will stay the couple hours longer to check off that layover.
BUT– There are MANY miles to go and a good long break before the coastal run will also surely be welcome and that might be her strategy to take it in Unalakleet later down the trail.
Sonny Lindner is back on the trail and any time Jeff King will also be back in business, so today’s action proves be exciting! Stay Tuned!
Mushing Forecast for Today is warm for today, but cold tonight. Teams will have the wind at their back. It should be a barn burner!