Guess What? I found a whole set of Video Clips that I forgot about! (Nome will do that to you) This looks like the same, but it has a better ending from the dog yard if you are interested. Worth the wait!!
Pete and the Team were into Shaktoolik at 20:50 with a great Trail time of 5 hours and 27 minutes. He was followed in just a bit later by Richie and his Team at 21:20 with a trail time of 5 hours and 43 minutes. Mike Jr. is now out out of Unalakleet after a good long break to rest his dogs for the run to Nome. The Kusko Teams are doing a fine job on this section of the course so far. Most other mushers have taken 4-6 hours in Shaktoolik knowing they will have a tough run up to Koyuk. The trail normally crosses Koyuk Bay, but this year veers off due to ice conditions and the trail is about 10 miles longer than usual.
Given the conditions, I am thinking they will stay 5-6 hours before heading North to Koyuk. That would put them into Koyuk in mid Morning. I always think of this section of the race because a couple of years ago Pete and the Team passed Mitch Seavey while Pete was completely asleep. Fun Memories.
Mushing Weather Report Tonight-
223 PM AKDT SUN MAR 9 2014.TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLEAR. LOWS 5 TO 15 BELOW. NORTHEAST WINDS 10
TO 20 MPH.
Here are some great shots from Andy Angstman this morning of Pete, Mike, and Richie in the Unalakleet checkpoint. Thanks Andy!
The files showed up, but they wouldn’t play, but after a bit of magic, they are good to go! Thanks Isaiah and Courtney for these short clips- Nice Job! Also thanks to Marcus Ackerman, their teacher, for putting them to work for us!
This is from yesterday, but we just got it in. Thanks to the Students from Marcus Ackerman’s class at the Top of the Kuskokwim school in Nikolai. Believe it or not, I lived in Nikolai as a first grader when it was a two room schoolhouse. My dad was the Principal teacher there in 1970.
Yesterday I reported that Pete was leaving Nikolai beaten but still in it. I was speculating of course as we had not word from anyone. Based on what everyone else was doing, I couldn’t imagine anything else. But I was pretty far off. The Kusko Trio seems have come through the first part of the trail almost unscathed. Go Guys!! Nice Job!
Arguably the best reporter on the Iditarod beat, Laureli Kineen with KNOM always gives our guys the attention they deserve. I want to personally say how thankful I am for her interest, as Iditarod seems only concerned with the top 5 or so mushers into checkpoints. While that is well and good and really all that they can logistically do, there are SO many mushers back in the pack whose stories could and should be told. All of the mushers on the trail have invested their lives in this race and I am hopeful someday we come to a mutual resolution to this issue. (Like the ability for a musher to call someone from a checkpoint to tell their story – Phone Interviews are Great!! – See how we do it at Team19ak.com)
In any case, off my soapbox–
Laureli spent time with all 3 mushers in Nikolai. I love her reporting because she always asks the right questions and gets these guys, who are notorious for not speaking, to tell their story:
Richie and his Team just arrived into McGrath and quickly set right out on the trail. He spent a little more than 6 hours on the 48 mile run and has about 20 miles until the Takotna checkpoint and a 24 hour layover. He arrived at 11:53 and departed just 3 minutes later after dropping a dog.
Richie would feel quite at home in McGrath, as it is very similar to Richie’s hometown of Aniak as it has Stores and Roads and feels less like a village that a town like Akiak where Mike Williams Jr. lives.
This is mainly because both Aniak and McGrath were refueling points for aircraft and minihubs for mail in the old days.
McGrath is a neat place, and in the early days it was THE place to take the 24 hour layover. Nowadays, Teams are faster and reaching McGrath faster and taking the break later.
Donlin Gold is a big supporter of our mushers out in the YK Delta and Sue Gamache with the company scored a seat into McGrath to watch the teams. She called me a bit ago and we chatted about Richie and his team. He had a small cheering section as he went through the checkpoint.
While Mike Jr. takes his 24 in Nikolai with Martin Buser, Richie is headed for points west. After a 4 hour break in the checkpoint he is more than likely headed for the Pies of Takotna!
Expecting a similar strategy for Pete given this trail condition. Early on Pete was wondering if he might switch it up a bit, but I’d guess that after such a trail, just keeping it simple and comfortable might be welcoming.
Stitched together KYUK Radio Angela Denning-Barnes with our video and a bit of Insider. Delta FOURce Elder Mike Williams Sr. crosses the line. His finish was easily the most popular of all of the mushers except for the Winner with horns honking, bells jingling, and the crowd cheering. Go Mike!! Visit the Williams Family Kennel Fanpage for photos and more!