Iditarod 23- Epic Battle to Elim

Good Morning Race Fans!

As hard as it is to get up this morning, consider Pete and the Team earlier in the night rising to take the trail after a bit over 3 hour break in Koyuk!

Pete and the Team were out of Koyuk at 2:43am this morning leaving 2 dogs at the checkpoint. The 8 dog Team is something that is pretty consistent with many Teams over the years from Koyuk on the trail to Nome. 8 dogs makes it easier to care for, but also trims out any slower dogs to keep up the speed that Pete needs to try to catch Ryan Redington, who left 26 minutes earlier than Pete, at 2:27am with 10 dogs.

Almost the entire trail from Shaktoolik to Koyuk, Pete was about 6 miles behind Redington. In fact that interval has remained pretty much since Unalakleet.

Arriving 35 minutes after Redington into Koyuk, Pete trimmed 10 minutes with rest, but the two Teams seem almost equally matched. On the trail since Koyuk this morning, the interval has remained 3 miles almost the entire time. It is an epic battle, but I can almost hear Pete telling us, “There is only so much you can do. The dogs need rest and food, so you do what you can, but it is what it is…”

The story of the morning here is whether the Teams will take a break in Elim or not. It is 84 miles from Koyuk to White Mountain. In the past, Pete has skipped Elim and made the entire run to White Mountain, but that is generally after a longer break in Koyuk. I’d venture to guess that it will really be decided by what Ryan Redington does. Ryan is leading the race, but the pressure is really on him instead of Pete to make the decision. At 3 miles in the clear, calm early morning, Ryan may be able to see Pete in the distance and that may spook him into making the run to White Mountain whether he wants to or not.

This is one of the most epic battles we have seen for the Championship in many years. Very exciting and so much action on the trail. Also, remember that often discounted is the trail from White Mountain to Nome that has reared it’s head to be very challenging in some years. Weather forecast for later today and tomorrow aren’t great with snow, blowing snow, and wind. All of the factors that can change a race.

We will know soon about Elim and what lies ahead!

What a great battle by two great Teams!

Stay Tuned! Go Team Kaiser!!

Elim Weather:
Temp 1, Calm Winds, Clear Skies.

Nome Weather:
Temp 6, Light Wind, Light Snow Fog/Mist

Today Snow, mainly after 10am. Areas of blowing snow. Patchy freezing fog after 1pm. High near 9. South wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Tonight- Snow, mainly before 10pm. Areas of blowing snow. Patchy freezing fog before 10pm. Low around -5. North wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

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