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!
With Pete and Mike Jr. and their Teams off the trail, we still have two mushers from the group heading towards Nome.
Richie Diehl will be the first musher we see. He is out of White Mountain and should reach the Finish Line between 1:30 and 2pm today. Winds have picked up, so he is facing a challenging trail this morning. Dave and Esther, his Mom and Dad, made it to Nome yesterday with Richie’s sister Dana to cheer him across the finish line. I spoke with Dave yesterday and he was super proud of his son’s efforts.
Mike Williams Sr. is bringing up the rear of the pack. He is presently headed towards White Mountain and a 8 hour break. He is expected into Nome Friday afternoon. His wife Maggie was at the finish line yesterday to cheer their son “Qam” across the line. She is a veteran of these events, having been here 14 times prior.
Congratulations to Mike Williams Jr. on his finish. The weather is absolutely beautiful in Nome today. A crowd of Bethel supporters met at the finish line to cheer on Mike Jr. and his Team. Good Job Mike!
23rd Place – 10 days 1 hours 57 minutes 30 seconds
Mike Williams - 10 Dogs IN Nikolai 8:16am - Taking 24 Hr Layover
Richie Diehl - 15 Dogs OUT 17:43 Nikolai -On the Trail to McGrath
Pete Kaiser - 15 Dogs OUT Nikolai 19:34 - On the Trail to McGrath