It doesn’t get much better than rolling into Nome behind a great Team of dogs that you have lived with for over 8 days!
Traditionally, with Bob and Sherrie Madden as our host family, we get up and drive out about 4 miles out of Nome to be the first to greet Pete and the Team. Sometimes it is ultra-early and other times ultra-late. Today it was just right. Get up, have some coffee, Bob’s biscuits and gravy and head out in a leisurely pace to a beautiful bright morning.
It was about -10 as we made our way into the Finish Chute and a huge crowd of Fans showed up to welcome Pete and the Team under the famed burled arches and Pete’s 9th place victory. A cheer went up as he crossed the finish line and was welcomed by hugs from family and friends.
Pete and the Team had an official time on the trail of 8days 23hours 5minutes 38seconds. 3 hours off his best time last year, but a great running time overall. Pete was very upbeat and proud of his Team. They did really nicely although the finishing 10 dogs were split 50/50 veterans and rookies, he was very pleased with his performance.
After the Finish Line festivities is was off to the dog lot where Teams are checked by the Veterinary crew and snacks and loving from Team Kaiser. This year, Ari, Pete and Bethany’s little guy was helping every step of the way.
I have video to come, but for now, here are the photos from this morning’s Finish in Nome!
After a tough go of it, Richie Diehl and his Team are back on track and making for White Mountain. It was probably a bit discouraging for the Team as a whole, but he is now running nicely and just a couple of hours away from his 8 hour layover in White Mountain.
A good recharge and he will be off to meet a cheering group of fans here in Nome!
Under a huge orange moon in White Mountain, Pete and the Team led Aliy Zirkle out onto the trail to Nome at 12:38am.
Closely matched, the Teams have been traveling together since Unalakleet. This should be a very exciting run into the Finish for those of us that are watching, but really, the Teams will do what they will do and both Mushers, after an 8 hour break are ready to reach the Finish Line and a nice warm bed.
Expect an 8 to 9 hour run into Nome, so at this point we are expecting a finish between 9am and 10am. We will update you as soon as we get a bit closer.
The 2017 Iditarod started in Fairbanks a bit over 10,000 minutes ago. Yes- 10,000!
And it came down to ONE minute into the 8 hour break in White Mountain for Pete Kaiser and the Team. That’s how much of a lead over Aliy Zirkle.
Pete and the Team were into White Mountain at 4:38pm followed by Aliy Zirkle at 4:39pm. Both Teams will be able to leave the checkpoint for Nome in 8 hours at 12:38 and 12:39am for the 77 mile run to the Finish Line. They are pretty evenly matched, so it will be a long night for Kaiser Fans tonight.
Michelle Phillips must have had some trouble on the trail and made it about halfway to White Mountain and stopped to rest. She had been traveling very nicely all the way from Unalakleet just on Pete’s heels. The same thing happened to Richie Diehl just out of Elim. 4 miles after leaving Elim with no break, Richie had some trouble with a leader and had to turn around and go back into the checkpoint to rest the team.
Michelle and Richie are now moving again and making their way towards White Mountain. We feel for both Teams as we saw our own Pete Kaiser have a similar problem in 2015 in Koyuk. It is a bit discouraging to see Team after Team go by, but a Musher has to see the bigger picture and just keep everything in perspective. In the end, the Finish is the accomplishment, and sometimes there comes a time where Racing goes away and just completing the Iditarod is the final reward.
Team Kaiser Pit Crew just landed in Nome and we are feasting on fresh Norton Sound Red King Crab for Dinner (I know– It’s a tough life!) courtesy of our great Host Family Bob and Sherrie Madden. I told Bob, “I’m Home in Nome!” We’ve been so lucky to be their guests for 8 years!
Donlin Gold has been a supporter of Pete and the Team for several years and their encouragement to Mushing in general has been outstanding. All of the folks at Donlin Gold have been great Fans as well and helped out so much.
They are with us during Training, at the Starting Line, and always the Finish Line. All of the great Donlin Staff have not only been Sponsors, but also great fans as well!
We appreciate not only the support of Kaiser Racing, but in keeping Mushing alive by sponsoring the Iditarod and the Kuskokwim 300. It is support like this that keeps the sport and traditions alive! Thanks Donlin Gold! We truly appreciate having you as our Lead Dod Sponsor of the Team!
Ryan Air has been the Kaiser Racing Kennel Lead Dog Sponsor since the beginning. Boyuk and Lee Ryan have been so supportive in all of Team Kaiser’s events. In addition to being the Lead Dog sponsor, Ryan Air also transports the Team from Nome and many other races. We are so grateful for the support of Ryan Air– Leader of the Team of Sponsors!
Thank You so Much Ryan Air!
Ryan Air serves all of Alaska and supports directly the following locations: