Closing the Notebook on Iditarod Sunday

Iditarod Sunday– Not the Start, but this one. The pivotal Sunday that has so many, many memories- Some good. Some not so good. But always Exciting!

Think back… Jeff King scratches out of Unalakleet with his dogs. Jake Berkowitz withdrawn with a cut hand. Ramey Smyth’s run up the coast. John Baker’s epic run. Ariel Tweto’s mountain of Pancakes! So many memories…

When I think of Iditarod Sunday I thing mainly of the phone… “Hey… Did you see?” “What do you know?” “Did you hear that???” Tiffany Tony usually is the first caller. Then maybe Cindy, or Rick… Ring, Ring, Ring!!

One year I got so excited I left the live feed going on my computer at Unalakleet. The old days of Unicom Internet. Cost me $400 in overages! Angaiii!!! (Yup’ik for AHHHGGGHHH!! Haha!)

Well, this Sunday did not disappoint! We saw Pete Kaiser arrive into Unalakleet in second position and we have been treated to a fun day of excitement on the trail.

We close the book on today with the following observations:

  1. The Team to beat seems to be Nic Petit, but a little drama exists as he seems to be camping on the ice a couple of hours North of Shaktoolik. Pete, Joar, and Jessie all can see him on the tracker at the checkpoint, so it is bound to be exciting. They can see him, but he is left to his imagination which can be challenging at this point in the race. Sleep deprivation and a little bit of paranoia can be powerful. I’m hoping nothing is seriously wrong with the Team, but this is racing and that is what Mushers signed up for.
  2. Pete, Joar, and Jessie have so similar Teams that it is going to be hard to pick a winner. Any one could break away, though Pete seems to have a small advantage on speed. Joar, though, does not fall back at all when trailing.
  3. Richie’s Team appears to have gotten a trail bug and is slowly healing as they move down the trail towards Unalakleet. This type of thing happens, but often it costs time and extra energy by the musher to keep the Team moving down the trail. They are again moving well, but lost valuable time earlier between Eagle Island and the portage.
  4. Jessica and Nik are getting closer and closer to running together. They were in the Eagle Island checkpoint together today and I’m sure will have great tales to tell. I’ll also bet that a lifelong friendship will have bound as sharing the trail together, as all of our mushers have this year, is like a year in high school. You’ll always have that in common.
  5. Our trail sweep, Victoria, is moving along steady and true. Her times are really good. She is giving herself and her Team ample time to get along down the trail and I anticipate seeing her at the finish line.

So that wraps up such a big day on the Iditarod Trail. So much action from all directions. Tomorrow will open to a new set of challenges for the Teams and the Kaiser Pit Crew will be repositioning to Nome.

Pete is resting in Shaktoolik before heading North towards Koyuk. In the morning we will find out the drama or not on the ice with Nic and see Teams much closer to the burled arches on Front Street where Breaker’s is a-callin’

GO Team Kaiser!!

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