Good Morning Race Fans!
As the time change makes morning feel early, it’s been an exciting time on the trail last night! Trail conditions don’t seem to be slowing Teams down as we are seeing speeds on the tracker close to 10 mph. Early word yesterday was that the trail was very snowy, but those speeds don’t tell of a slow trail for sure.
Pete is sticking to the 6/2 – Run/Rest schedule and staying out of the checkpoints as well. Resting on the trail has advantages that require more work from the musher, but protect the Team. Consider the first month of Kindergarten and all of the kids ending up with the same virus. The same thing happens with dog teams and staying away can pay dividends. Another advantage is staying away from all of the activity of a checkpoint which allows Pete to focus on his chores and keep the Team relaxed and happy. Checkpoints, especially closer to Anchorage can be a flurry of activity that can cost precious minutes that even now Pete is tracking. Every lost minute adds up on this great race to Nome!
Richie Diehl is having a great race! His Team checked into Finger Lake at 6:50 where he is now taking his break.
Pete was first out of Finger Lake on the Trail to Rainy Pass followed closely by Travis Beals and just 30 minutes later by Lance Mackey.
It is 30 miles from Finger Lake into Rainy Pass. Pete has been on the trail for 2 hours, but this next section into Rainy Pass doesn’t offer as many places to stop and take a break. The first section of the Iditarod could be described as Mountainous and for the next 100 or so miles Pete is going to be right in the middle of it. This section is a tough trail that takes skill from Musher and Team to traverse well. Team Kaiser has 9 dogs that have seen this before so that is a huge advantage for Pete this morning.
From the Fan perspective, it is easy just to look at the tracker and times, but you have to put your mind into what the Teams must be encountering out there on the trail. We sit in our easy chair and watch times and speeds, while Pete and the Team are encountering many different conditions. Weather, Complex Trail, and the wilderness of Alaska is what they see. Way different perspectives to be sure!!
Here is Aliy Zirkle’s footage from 2010