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
What a day of mushing! For online spectators, today must have seemed long with little going on, but really this was a huge day for the Teams. Although there were few checkpoints, many miles have gone by on quite a tough trail. Luckily all of our teams have not had to break trail which gives their teams a bit of a break. The trail between Eagle Island and Kaltag is soft and sticky and Martin Buser, who had led the race for quite some time may have burnt all his advantage by slogging through the miles in the lead.
Mike Williams Jr. is the story of the day. He is truly burning up the trail. With some of the fastest times on the trail he is advancing steadily and is a team to watch from here to the Finish in Nome. In his last Iditarods, he tends to speed up the closer he gets to Nome. At press time, Mike is a bit over halfway to Kaltag.
Pete and our Team Kaiser have been slowly rebuilding their health and things seem to finally be clicking along. Their trail times have been excellent, but it has been at the expense of longer breaks between runs. Presently Pete and the Team are just into the Kaltag checkpoint. Many teams in front of them have had to rest along the trail, but Team Kaiser made the run with only one short break. This shows me that the team is in good shape and the longer breaks are paying off nicely. I expect another long break here before the run to Unalakleet. Pete has been on this trail earlier this year when he won the Norton Sound 450, so the next section of trail is familiar territory and that will be a definite advantage. Aaron Burmeister is back to the lead presently and he too has been on this trail before. His team may be the one to watch.
Mike Williams Sr. is no longer running with son Mike Jr. He is presently on the trail between Grayling and Eagle Island. It is going to be a long night for Mike and I expect him to take a good break once he reaches the checkpoint. Running in a sticky trail at night can be a burden, so we’ll see how this goes for him. He is still putting in very respectable times, but like Pete is taking a bit longer in checkpoints to recharge his team.
Richie Diehl got a boost today as he got to have dinner in Grayling with his dad, Dave and friends Ronnie Vanderpool and Erich Kubal. They met in Anvik, but Richie was in race mode and running from Shageluk to Grayling, so they drove up to Grayling and got to sit down together as the Team rested. Ronnie and Erich also drove to Iditarod earlier to cheer him on. In a long rookie race, it had to be good to have family and friends around. The middle western Alaska villages are really cheering Richie on as he is the local favorite in that area. Word has it he left Grayling, but had to turn around and drop a dog and then returned to the trail. Richie’s gal Em reports he is in good spirits and dogs are doing well.
Leading the Four YK Delta Mushers is our own Pete Kaiser. Pete and the Team left Takotna this morning after his 24 hour layover at 1:15am with 14 dogs. He quickly made it over to Ophir, dropped another dog and returned to the trail at just past 4am this morning with 13 dogs. The Kaiser team made great time towards Iditarod and are presently camped out resting just 20 miles from Iditarod. We expect him to rest for a few hours and then return to the trail. I am thinking that his preference was to get as far as he could in the warmth before camping out and waiting for it to cool this evening. Go Team Kaiser
Mike Williams Jr. left Takotna after his 24 hour layover at just past 6 am this morning with 14 dogs. He was in and out of Ophir a bit before 7am and is currently on the trail to Iditarod. I would expect that Mike Jr. would also break this trip of 103 miles into two parts as well and rest during the heat of the day. We will see though as Mike Jr. is full of surprises.
Mike Williams Sr. has been traveling with his son since the Start and left Takotna just a couple of hours later than Mike Jr. He was in and out of Ophir just before noon with 15 dogs. He commented yesterday that it was an honor to be traveling together with Mike Jr. He must be so very proud of his boy and no better seat in the house than on the trail with him.
Go Team Williams!
Richie Diehl of Aniak is just out of Takotna after his 24 hour layover as well. Tracker is showing him moving, but we don’t have a count on his dogs yet. Richie has slowly been creeping up the leaderboard and with his conservative run, should keep that up as they move North. I am hearing that his Dad may meet him in Anvik to watch him go by. Maybe we will get some photos from there as well. Richie’s Facebook page has been going crazy with all of his fans! Way to go Richie!