Though the Finish Line for the Norton Sound 450 is 250 miles North of Team Kaiser’s home court, the excitement built to a fever pitch Friday night. I arrived to interview Jen, but found the Kaiser dinner table in a fever pitch due to Pete’s Tracker not moving. It was a nervous time as the unknown crept into everyone’s fears. Then a quick call to Unalakleet and the news came– The front runner had just entered town– It was Pete and the Team! Wahoo!! The mood quickly changed and then Laureli Kineen called to confirm. Pete was going to be first across the line. Then the next challenge- Would it be enough to keep Martin Buser in second.
Pete needed to have at least 4 minutes over Martin for the win. As we listened to the garbled phone in the bathroom we wondered. Coming down the trail was Martin. The clock was ticking literally as we listened to Laureli talk through his crossing of the line. Pete still hadn’t won at this point. Tick Tock and then it came– Martin Buser’s elapsed time was more than Pete and the Team. Officially Team Kaiser had won the race and cheers could be heard from the dining room across the house.
It was truly a fun night win or lose. Everyone gathered to cheer and be together to celebrate the finish.
Here are the photos from tonight’s Kaiser Finish Bethel style!
Final Run times and race results from todays final heat. Participants are placed in order. It was agreed by the mushers to a purse be paid for the race to Unalakleet. We are also paying out each musher a guaranteed amount of equal portions. Total purse on top of that amount is 10,000.00 Purse Break down:
Musher finish and placement listed below in order from 1st to 8th
Pete Kaiser into Unk @6:42:02pm Elapsed time 4hrs12mins2sec
Martin Buser in @6:51:10pm Elapsed time 4hrs15mins10secs
Aaron Burmeister @ 6:58:07pm Elapsed time 4hrs24mins7secs
Gerry Willomitzer @ 7:26:17pm Elapsed time 4hrs48mins17secs
Chuck Schaeffer @ 7:51-15pm Elapsed time 5hrs11mins15secs
DeeDee Jonrowe @7:41:40pm Elapsed time 5hrs11mins40secs
Ellitot Anderson @7:56:31pm Elapsed time 5hrs14mins31secs
Alex Otten @8:00:48pm Elapsed time 5hrs16mins48secs
Shaktoolik looking Southeast towards Unalakleet. Sunshine and Windy.
The front runners, including Team Kaiser have a 16 hour rest under their belt on the run back to Unalakleet. Also in their favor is the wind as it will be on their backs for some of the way. We’ll keep you posted! Go Team Kaiser!
Just in from Norton Sound 450. Trail crews had already made it to Koyuk this morning. They had to return to Shaktoolik to get ready for this new change to the race. They were delayed a bit, so race restart will happen at 2:30pm.
With marginal conditions and a looming Iditarod, everyone agrees that heading back to Unalakleet is the best decision at this time. What started as a 450 miles race is now a 40 mile dash to the finish. Strategy is out the window. This is a speed contest. The real strategy is how much teams will push for the finish. The trail is not in bad shape, but it is cold.
Today’s Mushing Weather from Shaktoolik to Unalakleet:
.TODAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE MORNING.
HIGHS 1 BELOW TO 9 ABOVE. NORTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH.
.TONIGHT...CLOUDY. SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN
SNOW LIKELY AFTER MIDNIGHT. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO 1 INCH. LOWS
8 BELOW TO 5 ABOVE. NORTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH.
The Unalakleet community is feverishly making lemonade out of lemons as they prep for a finish this evening and a Banquet tomorrow morning. Such a small community doesn’t have the same air service as Nome or Bethel, and all flights Sunday and Monday are overbooked!
Middy Johnson and his crew are doing a good job of keeping everyone posted and up to date on what is happening. Thanks Middy!
Elapsed times yesterday between Unalakleet and Shaktoolik were under or close to 6 hours.
Here are a few stats from last nights run from Unalakleet to Shaktoolik- First is the Start Order for the Restart. Second is the Elapsed Time sorted. Team Kaiser has the fastest time.
Mary Lynn RoushMy respect for her grows and grows. Hope her hand has healed, and eager to see what's next. Go Aliy!1 · 2 hours ago
Susan Martineau LavigneFascinating interview, and to hear her thoughts about what she went through. I love her realizing that humans can do so much more than they think they can when things really get tough. She is one tough, logical-thinking woman whom I would love to see come in first next year!1 hour ago
Deborah BlakeMy plans are to be on 4th Avenue no later than 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and in Willow by 11 a.m. Sunday! And that's after I pray repeatedly for plenty of snow and cold temperatures! PLEASE let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Oh, yeah, and go to the banquet Thursday night! THAT'S THE PLAN!2 · 12 hours ago
Christy Jo Carter WasmerMy plans are to not be a newbie and know what and where to go next year! I missed all the fun this year.12 hours ago
Kathy MorelockGoing to the banquet and will be in Anchorage and Willow, coming from Florida again. Oh it is such a long way off. So sad.12 hours ago
Yolanda Figueroa BackusI'm taking leave next year to plan to trek to Nome for the finish... But not before I see the start in Willow! This year was my first Iditarod and I LOVE IT!12 hours ago
Linda HollyThanks for the info. You made me very happy. Dvr all set up2 days ago
Kim Bott-FriendLove the start of series...Can't wait for tomorrow
Check with cable provider...mine gave me channel for few extra bucks.2 days ago
Teresa DanforthFor those that saw mt post about watching it on tv--didn't happen. Could only see the intro. I'm really bummed. Really wanted to see it. I bought a subscription and followed the race very closely. I was rooting for jeff king. Visited his kennel in Denali in august and held several of his puppies.1 · 2 days ago
Theresa Tait RobertsonWatching in Texas...Comcast. ..How do I show this to my students? It is great!1 · 2 days ago
Bill McLainOne more year before I retire, then I'm planning on volunteering until I can make it to Nome!! Still in withdrawal. Got to attend the start in Anchorage and Re-start this year--I'm hooked!!!5 · 2 days ago
Donna CookI've only been following the sport a couple of years and "I AM HOOKED"! Want to say thank you to the all who make The Iditarod happen. There is so much more to it than meets the eye.6 · 2 days ago
Paula Nations MedlinYep, y'all are right, still going back after 10th trip!! You people wanting to go, please find a way to book that flight...once I did that, I was like...I'm going to AK, Oh my gosh, I'm attending the Iditarod summer camp... I was thrilled. That was all I needed to open up a whole new world to me and my students!!!!1 · 2 days ago
John VibbertsCongratulations to the Fb administrator for having great taste in pictures that are not only beautiful, but also tell a story. I have like them all but the newest one of the lantern is very timely. Thanks.1 day ago
Mikhail KerenskyPaula, several friends and I are already making plans. I'm like everyone else here who can say I'm hooked! Have been since I was a child. And John, I agree with you that the pictures are extraordinary. I've shared several so people down here in Ohio and the Lower 48 can see how amazing the Iditarod is.20 hours ago
Tamara Aliciathank goodness everyone made it home on one of the worse weather trails in recent history.5 · 2 days ago
John MurdenAwe and congratulations on all those who finished; admiration for those who competed but could not complete their runs. I'm looking forward to the race DVD to see the details I missed along the way. No way I could ever participate except in spirit! Dogs, mushers, their support teams were all inspirations to all of us race watchers around the world!8 · 2 days ago
Sharon ClarkEveryone is a winner to be racing in those terrible conditions. Congratulations everyone.5 · 2 days ago
Tina ChaseEvery team is a winner. What a great accomplishment.5 · 2 days ago
Monica SearsSad that it is over, my daughter & I had so much fun keeping up with everyone on the trail......can't wait till next year!!2 · 2 days ago
Joan ParkerJust to finish The Last Great Race is a WIN....3 · 2 days ago
Cindy HassebroekAwesome race from mushers and dogs whether they finished or not. Thankful they are safe.2 · 2 days ago
Kim UnderwoodThat all made it in safe,dogs & mushers!1 · 2 days ago
Stanley WeberThat this was a wild ride for everyone involved and that I was glad to see the last musher to cross the line before anyone else got hurt.2 days ago